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Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyerSometimes you have no other choice but to pick up your children after drinking. Consider this scenario: you and your spouse are out to enjoy an anniversary celebration meant to last all night. You went the extra measure to hire a babysitter for the evening. Perhaps you even left emergency contact information for local friends or family in the area in case of an emergency. After midnight, you get a dreaded phone call that one of your child is throwing up and has a fever and none of the emergency contacts are answering their phones. Luckily, you have only had a few alcoholic beverages, and you feel confident in your driving abilities enough to go to get them. However, on the return trip home with a car full of the smells of a sick child, you get pulled over by an officer having a bad night. The mixture of the odors in the car lead the police to believe you may be intoxicated and to top off the night, you fail the sobriety test, leading to a DUI. What happens next?

A Rise in Prevalence

There is growing trend of incidents involving DUI and minor-aged passengers. Alarmed by the increasing number of incidents, state lawmakers in many states created laws specifically surrounding drinking and driving with children present. In Illinois, the threshold for being a minor in this incident is 16. If convicted, the following penalties may apply in addition to standard DUI penalties, provided the child is unharmed:

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Illinois DUI attorney, Illinois defense lawyerIllinois notoriously has some of the harshest DUI laws and penalties in the country. If convicted of driving under the influence, your license is automatically taken away through the use of statutory summary suspension. The suspension period varies dependent of how the initial stop progressed. If this is the first DUI on record, there may be programs to assist the outcome. Despite dismal odds, there are defensive options available, given the right circumstances.

What Is a Statutory Summary Suspension?

Unlike a revocation which denies driving privileges indefinitely, a suspension denies this allowance for a predetermined length of time. A statutory summary suspension specifically pertains to DUI. If a chemical test results in a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher of alcohol, other drugs, or intoxicating compounds, your driving privileges are suspended for six months to a year. After the allotted amount of time passes, your license is eligible for reinstatement after the payment of a $250.00 fee if this is the first offense. All reinstatement fees after the first offense are $500.00. If you opt to refuse the chemical testing, Illinois has an automatic suspension of 12 to 36 months.

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