The choice to drink and drive is always a poor choice — even if you think you have had very little to drink. Why? Because even though you believe you are sober, the truth is that you may be inebriated depending on your weight, what you’ve had to eat and how many drinks you have had before getting behind the wheel.
The consequences of a DUI are serious, Make no mistake.
A first offense is generally a misdemeanor punishable by jail or a fine. The Illinois DUI statute criminalizes all driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any intoxicating compound. The Illinois DUI statute also criminalizes “actual physical control” of a vehicle while under the influence. Therefore the law does not require that a person actually drive the vehicle. You may be found guilty of DUI if you are in the car parked on the street with the engine running or are just trying to “sleep off” your drunken stupor.
A DUI conviction is a serious offense that will adversely affect your liberty, driving privileges, employment, or automobile insurance premiums.
What happens if I am found guilty of DUI?
The outcome of a DUI conviction will depend on a number of factors. Typically, a first offense generally includes:a period of court supervision and alcohol or substance abuse counseling and treatment, attendance at a victim impact panel, as well as paying statutory fines and court costs. A mandatory evaluation by an assessment agency approved by the Circuit Court will help to determine the course of treatment and counseling.
A DUI conviction will result in the Secretary of State revoking your driver’s license. A revocation, unlike a suspension, does not have a set termination date. Illinois law also has created a number of aggravating factors that trigger mandatory penalties such as mandatory jail, community service, fines, ignition interlock device installation, and revocations. These factors include, but are not limited to, the age of the offender, the concentration of alcohol in a person’s breath, whether the offender had insurance or whether the offender had a valid driver’s license.
A person charged with a DUI faces not only the criminal case, but will generally face an administrative driver’s license suspension. This administrative action can lead to unusual results in which a person defeats the DUI charge but still receives a driver’s license suspension. This suspension is known as the statutory summary suspension. This driver’s license suspension is separate from the criminal case and is the result of an administrative action by the Illinois Secretary of State’s office. A person who agrees to take the breathalyzer test and fails will receive a suspension. A person who refuses to take the breathalyzer test will receive a longer suspension. Furthermore, the Secretary of State will not lift the suspension until the time expires and the person pays a reinstatement fee.
Under some limited circumstances an attorney may be able to file a petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension. An attorney must file the petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension within a specific time period or the offender will lose the right to challenge the suspension. If the court grants the petition, the Secretary of State will either not suspend the offender’s driver’s license or will lift the suspension. If the court denies the petition to rescind the statutory suspension, an attorney may still be able to obtain limited driving privileges for the client, sometimes referred to as an ignition interlock device or BAIID.
The Illinois DUI Statute
Section 625 ILCS 5/11‑501 states, in part:
(a) A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle within this State while:
(1) the alcohol concentration in the person’s blood or breath is 0.08 or more based on the definition of blood and breath units in Section 11‑501.2;
(2) under the influence of alcohol;
(3) under the influence of any intoxicating compound or combination of intoxicating compounds to a degree that renders the person incapable of driving safely;
(4) under the influence of any other drug or combination of drugs to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving;
(5) under the combined influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, or intoxicating compound or compounds to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving; or
(6) there is any amount of a drug, substance, or compound in the person’s breath, blood, or urine resulting from the unlawful use or consumption of cannabis listed in the Cannabis Control Act, a controlled substance listed in the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, an intoxicating compound listed in the Use of Intoxicating Compounds Act, or methamphetamine as listed in the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act. (b) The fact that any person charged with violating this Section is or has been legally entitled to use alcohol, other drug or drugs, or intoxicating compound or compounds, or any combination thereof, shall not constitute a defense against any charge of violating this Section.
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The attorneys at the Law Office of Maggie Aguilar have successfully helped hundreds of persons faced with a DUI charge. Let our attorneys our experienced defense attorneys help you by attacking the basis fora traffic stop, or to attack the results of a Breathalyzer test, or to suppress the results of the field sobriety exercises.