Illinois Zero-Tolerance DUI Law

Illinois Zero-Tolerance DUI Law

The Illinois zero-tolerance DUI law permits the State to charge drivers with DUI if blood/chemical tests show any amount of an illegal drug in their system.  This is true even if they were not under the influence or at fault when a serious accident occurred.

ISBA Challenge Zero-Tolerance DUI Law

The Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) seeks to change Illinois’ zero-tolerance DUI law via a bill already submitted to the state legislature. The ISBA seeks an amendment of the 1980’s DUI law so it does not apply to drivers who were unimpaired at the time of the accident.

The proposed measure cites a Lake Island incident in December 2011. Prosecutors charged a father with homicide after his ten-year-old son died in a crash caused by a distracted driver. Prosecutors charged Scott Shirley two months after the fatal crash due to trace amounts of marijuana found in his blood.  By law, authorities must take blood samples of all drivers involved in crashes that result in death or serious injury.  The trial court did not allow defense testimony that Shirley was unimpaired when the other driver ran the red light. Shirley eventually plead guilty and received 30 months probation according to his attorney because his client had no defense.

 

DUI Evaluation

DUI Evaluation

DuPage DUI lawyer Marilyn A. Miller wants you to know what Illiniois DUI requires those convicted of DUI.  Illinois law requires DUI offenders to complete a DUI evaluation prior to final sentencing or an order for supervision.  The Illinois Vehicle Code, 625 ILCS 5/11-501.01(a), provides:

After a finding of guilt and prior to any final sentencing or an order for supervision, for an offense based upon an arrest for a violation of Section 11-501 or a similar provision of a local ordinance, individuals shall be required to undergo a professional evaluation to determine if an alcohol, drug, or intoxicating compound abuse problem exists and the extent of the problem, and undergo the imposition of treatment as appropriate.

The DUI evaluation determines whether the defendant has a substance abuse problem and his likelihood of reoffending. The DUI evaluator interviews the defendant about his past and present use of alcohol and drugs.  In addition, she reviews the Notice of Statutory Summary Suspension or Revocation, defendant’s driving record, and the chemical test results.

DUI Classes

In addition, Illinois DUI law requires the defendant convicted of DUI to undergo DUI treatment prior to sentencing.  The legal system refers to DUI treatment as “DUI classes.”  DUI classes include at least 10 hours of DUI Risk Education and substance abuse treatment for defendant’s at significant or high risk to reoffend.

In DuPage County, Illinois, DuPage County Probation and Court Services conducts DUI evaluations.

Illinois DUI Penalties

Illinois DUI Penalties

Illinois DUI Penalties – What are the penalties for a DUI offense in Illinois?

In Illinois, a DUI offense is either a misdemeanor or a felony depending upon the circumstances of the case.  In addition, the Court also considers your prior driving record. If the State charges your DUI as a misdemeanor, it is a Class A misdemeanor.  The potential sentence for a Class A misdemeanor is 365 days in jail, fine of up to $2,500, court costs and substance abuse treatment.

Penalty for First Illinois DUI

For a first offense, you can receive Court Supervision for up to two years without any jail time whether you plead guilty or go to trial. The prosecutor may be the village proscecutor or the States Attorney. If there are no aggravating circumstances in the case such as a high breathe test or accident involved, the prosecuting agency will most likely be the village prosecutor.

What is Court Supervision?

Court supervision is an alternative disposition available only to first-time offenders in Illinois. It allows a judge to dismiss the charges upon the successful completion of the terms of supervision.  Such terms often include attending a victim impact panel, alcohol treatment, and other conditions. There is a record you received supervision. However, the State of Illinois does does not revoke your driver’s license because supervision is not a conviction under Illinois law.

Illinois DUI law is complex.  Therefore, contact DuPage DUI lawyer Marilyn A. Miller today for a DUI consultation.

DUI Stop Rights

DUI Stop Rights in Illinois

DUI Stop Rights.  DuPage DUI Lawyer Marilyn A. Miller wants you to know you have the following legal rights during an Illinois DUI stop:

  1. Right to an attorney. You have a right to talk to an attorney, but only after you have submitted to a blood or breath test, or have refused to take a test.
  2. Right to refuse to submit to testing.  You have the right to refuse the field sobriety test or the preliminary breathalyzer test during the stop.  These preliminary tests may be refused without consequences to your driving privileges during the stop.  Note: After arrest for DUI in Illinois, the driver cannot refuse to submit to chemical tests without facing a 12-month statutory summary suspension of his driving privileges. However, if you think you are over the legal blood alcohol limit, a refusal is often the best option.  The State will use the results of these tests as evidence against you in court.
  3. Right to remain silent. You have the right NOT to talk to the police. Don’t make statements that will hurt you later.

When arrested or charged with DUI in Dupage County, contact Dupage DUI lawyer Marilyn A. Miller by email or call 630-424-8816.

Chicago Police Body Cameras

Chicago Police Body Cameras

Chicago Police Body Cameras – According to an article in The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Police are considering testing body cameras on officers. The department is “looking into a pilot program for some officers.”

Typically, officers clip body cameras to their uniforms.  In addition, the cameras record video and audio.

Superintendent McCarthy supports the use of the cameras according to the article. However, the president of the police officers’ union is somewhat less enthusiastic . . .  he believes there are positive uses for such cameras.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-police-body-cameras-met-0903-20140903-story.html

Finally, most people recognize criminal law is complex and intimidating.   Therefore, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer.  Contact criminal defense lawyer Marilyn A. Miller to discuss your case.  MAMillerLaw@aol.com or 630.424.8816.

DuPage County DUI Lawyer – Defenses to DUI in Illinois

DuPage County DUI lawyer Marilyn Miller wants you to know how to fight Illinois DUI charges.   Below is list of possible DUI defenses and issues a good DUI lawyer should consider:

1. Did the police have reasonable suspicion / the legal right to pull you over?

2. Was there probable cause to make a DUI arrest?

3. Did the police need consent to search your vehicle?  Did the police have consent to search your vehicle?

4. Was the breathalyzer or intoxilyzer working properly?

5. Were the field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests administered as required by law?

6. Did the police force you to make incriminating statements?

If you are charged with DUI in Illinois, contact Wheaton DUI lawyer Marilyn Miller by email or call 630-424-8816 for further information on how to defend or beat your DUI charges.

DUI Breathalyzer Test Refusal

DUI Breathalyzer Test Refusal

DUI Breathalyzer Test Refusal.  Should Illinois drivers pulled over for or arrested for DUI refuse a breathalyzer test?  Wheaton DUI lawyer Marilyn Miller wants you to know your rights when pulled over or arrested for DUI.

Probable Cause to Arrest

A police officer needs probable cause to arrest a driver for DUI. Probable cause exists when a reasonable person concludes that a driver has committed an offense.  This conclusion can arise from the officer’s observations of the driver’s manner of driving as well as observations of the driver after the traffic stop.  These observations can include the driver’s slurred speech, blood shot eyes, strong odor of alcohol, admission to drinking, fumbling with license, and inability to follow instructions.

Field Sobriety Tests

Typically, an officer will require a driver to complete the Field Sobriety Tests or FST.   These tests may include a Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test or HGN, a Walk-and-Turn test, and a One-leg Stand test.  The officer will also ask the driver to take a Preliminary Breathalyzer Test or PBT which consists of a hand-held device for testing the driver’s breath at the scene.  The PBT provides an estimate of the blood-alcohol level of the driver.   Therefore, the PBT helps establish probable cause for a DUI arrest.  By law, a driver may refuse to take this Preliminary Breathalyzer Test without consequences to his driving privileges.

Consequences of Refusing Breathalyzer

After a driver is actually arrested for DUI, the driver cannot refuse the official breath, blood or urine test without consequence.  The official chemical test is typically given at the police station after an arrest for a DUI.  If a driver is arrested for DUI and refuses to submit to a such test, the driver faces a 12-month statutory summary suspension of his driving privileges.  Those arrested for DUI who submit to the tests face a 6-month statutory summary sususpension for a failed test (i.e., a chemical test which disclosed an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, or any amount of a drug, substance, or intoxicating compound in such person’s breath, blood, or urine resulting from the unlawful use or consumption).  625 ILCS 5/11-501.1(a) and 625 ILCS 6-208.1(a).

Admissibility of Field Sobriety Tests

As to the HGN test, the prosecution has to establish the scientific basis for the reliability of this test.  However, the Court will admit the FST evidence based solely only the officer’s personal observations and conclusions.

The driver can agree to take FST and the PBT if he/she can pass the tests.  However, drivers often find it difficult to perform the FSTs even when when sober.  In addition, the Court may easily admit the FST tests based on the officer’s personal observations and subjective conclusions. As to the PBT, it is an estimate only of the blood-alcohol level of the driver.  Moreover, the PBT is not admissible by the prosecution at the trial of an alleged DUI offense.

The police officer may record the FST on a video camera mounted in a squad car.  Further, the arresting officer must conduct all tests in conformity with the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) manual.  The validity of these tests is compromised if not properly administered as set forth in the NHTSA. A experienced DUI lawyer may cross exam the arresting officer on this issue.

If the driver believes that he can pass the Field Sobriety Tests and Preliminary Breathalyzer Test, then the driver can agree to take the tests.  However, the driver should politely refuse all tests if there is a possibility that the driver cannot pass the tests.

New Illinois Drug Law and Increased Penalties for Drug Crimes

The State of Illinois added the synthetic, hallucinogenic drugs known as 25-I, 25-C and 25-B to the list of controlled substances that are illegal to manufacture, deliver or possess with the intent to distribute.  Governor Quinn’s office says these drugs have been available online and linked to both serious and fatal reacations.  Quinn also signed a bill that makes it illegal for anyone under 18 to buy or possess products containing the herbal stimulant Kratom.

In addition, the penalty for manufacturing methampethamine within 1000 feet of any school property will now be a Class X felony, punishable by a minimum of six years in prison.  This crime was previously a Class 1 felony.

As reported by the Associated Press and reprinted by the Daily Herald, Gov. Pat Quinn signed these three drug-related pieces of legislation on Saturday, August 16, 2014, and the new laws take effect January 1, 2015.

If you have been charged with an Illinois drug crime, call DuPage County criminal defense lawyer Marilyn A. Miller at 630-424-8816.

 

 

DuPage DUI Lawyer – Illinois BAIID for First DUI Offense

DuPage DUI lawyer Marilyn A. Miller wants persons charged with a first DUI in Illinois to be aware that Illinois Senate Bill 300 was signed into law on August 24, 2007 and became effective January 1, 2009.   P.A. 95-0400.  It requires all first-time Illinois DUI offenders who wish to drive during their statutory summary suspension to install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device on the vehicle they wish to drive during the statutory summar suspension.

A person must provide a breath sample into the Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device prior to starting the vehicle and at random intervals throughout the travel time. The BAIID uses advanced technology to read the persons Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).   A BAIID is hooked to the ignition of the car and prevents the person from starting the car if their breath sample registers a .05 or higher.  If the breath sample is negative for alcohol, the person will be able to start their car without incident.

In addition, Senate Bill 300 increases the statutory summary suspension times as follows:  For offenders who refuse testing at the time they are pulled over, their suspension times will go from the current 6 months to 12 months.  For those that take the test and fail, their suspension will double from the current 3 months to 6 months.

Contact Marilyn A. Miller by email or call 630-424-8816.

Wheaton DUI Lawyer | Monitoring Device Driving Permit

DUI lawyer Marilyn A. Miller wants you to know that eligible first-time DUI offenders who are arrested on or after January 1, 2009, have the option of obtaining a Monitoring Device Driving Permit by request to the Illinois Secretary of State.  The Monitoring Device Driving Permit replaces the Judicial Driving Permit.  The offender has the option of not participating in the program, but will have no other option for driving relief during the Statutory Summary Suspension.

Under Illinois law, the Monitoring Device Driving Permit allows the offender to drive after serving 30 days of the statutory summary suspension (which will either be 6 months or 12 months, depending on failure or refusal of Field Sobriety Test.  The MDDP requires that the offender install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device in any vehicle the offender plans on driving during the term of the statutory summary suspension. The MDDP allows the offender to drive anywhere at anytime so long as the vehicle being driven has a BAIID installed (as opposed to the Judicial Driving Permit which restricted the offender to certain hours and certain destinations).  A Monitoring Device Driving Permit holder found driving a car without a BAIID during the statutory summary suspension will be guilty of a Class 4 felony. An offender who chooses not to obtain a Monitoring Device Driving Permit and is then caught driving during the statutory summary suspension will be guilty of a Class 4 felony.

A Monitoring Device Driving Permit will not allow a Commercial Drivers License holder to operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle during the offender’s statutory summary suspension.  Monitoring Device Driving Permit holders may be eligible for a work exemption if driving employer owned cars during the course of work hours and if the car is not specifically assigned to the offender.

Chicago DUI Lawyer