Archive for the ‘DUI news’ Category

Law Against Driving While High On Marijuana Changed

September 15th, 2016 at 1:24 pm

Law Against Driving While High On Marijuana ChangedUntil recently, it was illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana, regardless of how much marijuana was in your system. Illinois law used to employ a zero tolerance approach when it came to driving under the influence of marijuana. Specifically, if any amount of marijuana was detected in the suspected drugged driver’s system, the driver could be charged with a marijuana DUI. But the recent passage of Illinois bill SB2228 changes things and puts a measurable limit on when an Illinois driver is too high to drive.

Under the old law, prosecutors were not required to demonstrate that the driver was actually intoxicated by marijuana at the time of their DUI arrest, according to a recent article in the Pekin Daily Times. Instead, the prosecution only had to show that marijuana, even in trace amounts, was detected in the driver’s system. A blood test could be used to analyze a blood sample for any trace of THC, which is the active psychoactive chemical ingredient in marijuana.

A Zero Tolerance Policy Is Patently Unfair

The old law was strikingly unfair since it failed to require proof that the driver was actually under the influence of marijuana to such a degree that the intoxication impacted the driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. The old law could place a person who was merely in contact with marijuana smoke in violation of the state’s marijuana DUI laws, even though the person never actually inhaled more than second-hand marijuana smoke.

New Law Offers Measurable Legal Limit

The new law places a quantifiable measurement on when a person is considered to be under the influence of marijuana to such a degree that their driving ability is affected. Specifically, a person who has five nanograms of THC in their blood, when the blood sample is taken within two hours of a DUI arrest, is considered to be under the influence of marijuana and is not safe to drive a vehicle. With the enactment of the new marijuana DUI law, Illinois joins just four other states – Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington – that have placed a measurable impairment level on marijuana.

Bill SB2228 Also Decriminalizes Possession of Small Quantities of Marijuana

The new law also decriminalizes possession of small quantities of marijuana. Instead of being a criminal offense, possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana is punishable as a civil infraction, meaning that offenders will merely be issued a ticket. The ticket ranges from between a fine of $100 and $200.

Facing A DUI? Contact A Rolling Meadows Drug Offenses Lawyer

Whether you are facing a DUI, a marijuana DUI, or drug charges, you need to speak to an experienced Rolling Meadows drug crimes lawyer as soon as feasible about your situation. These criminal charges are serious, and you need legal representation that can help you fight the charges that are pending against you.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=2228&GAID=13&DocTypeID=SB&SessionID=88&GA=99
http://www.pekintimes.com/news/20160804/marijuana-dui-law-changed-little-attorney-warns

Illinois Law Enforcement Receive Federal Grant to Identify Drugged Drivers

June 3rd, 2016 at 7:40 am

Illinois identify drugged drivers, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense AttorneyDriving under the influence of drugs is illegal under Illinois law. A person is considered to be under the influence of drugs if his or her ability to drive safely is impacted by the drug use. Under Illinois’ zero tolerance policy when it comes to drugged driving, even a trace amount of drugs found in a driver’s blood, breath or urine, is sufficient to prompt criminal DUI charges. These laws apply to all drugs that are identified in:

  • Illinois Cannabis Control Act under 720 ILCS 550;
  • Illinois Controlled Substances Act under 720 ILCS 570;
  • Use of Intoxicating Compounds Act 720 ILCS 690; and
  • Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act under 720 ILCS 646.

The list of drugs covered by the above statutes include all kinds of drugs and controlled substances, such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, MDMA, and other popular drugs.

Reasonable Suspicion to Make an Arrest for Drugged Driving

In order to make an arrest for drugged driving, the law enforcement officer must have a reasonable suspicion that the driver is operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs. No actual evidence of the drugged driving is required for the arrest to be made. However, law enforcement in Illinois is not as familiar with the signs and indications that a driver is under the influence of drugs, and the federal government wants to help change that.

According to KFVS12.com, Illinois is one of just four states in the country that was awarded federal grant money to help law enforcement identify signs of drug intoxication in drivers that have been pulled over or stopped. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility gave Illinois Department of Transportation grant money that will fund 10 Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement classes to law enforcement agencies across Illinois. Each class will educate up to 25 law enforcement officers on how to identify signs that a driver is under the influence of a drug.

DUI and Drug Testing

In Illinois, if you are suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you are required to submit to testing under the state’s implied consent laws. Under the implied consent laws, by merely using the public highways of Illinois, drivers consent to submit to chemical tests, or blood or urine testing, for determining whether a driver is operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Law enforcement officers get to choose which type of testing is administered.

You have the right to refuse chemical and blood or urine testing, but there are consequences for doing so. Two main consequences exist when a driver refuses to submit to testing:

  1. Your driver’s license will be revoked and suspended.
  2. Your refusal can be used as evidence against you later in court.

Contacting a Rolling Meadows DUI Lawyer

A conviction for driving under the influence of drugs will leave you facing DUI penalties. It is important to work with an experienced drug offenses and DUI lawyer in order to fight the charges that are pending against you. Please do not hesitate to contact a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our office. We will assist you throughout each step of your case.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

http://www.kfvs12.com/story/31867100/illinois-awarded-grant-to-combat-drug-impaired-driving

New Law Could Let People With Four DUI Convictions Get Restricted Driving Privileges

November 17th, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Illinois drunk driving attorney, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer,One of the consequences of being convicted for driving under the influence is that your driver’s license will be revoked. Under the current laws of Illinois, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both. Upon conviction, a person will lose their driver’s license; more specifically, the Secretary of State will revoke their driving privileges.

The revocation period depends on the number of prior offenses:

  • For a first offense, license revocation is for a period of one year, and for those under the age of 21, revocation is for two years;
  • For a second offense committed in a period of 20 years, license revocation is for a period of and years;
  • For a third offense, license revocation is for a period of 10 years; and
  • For a fourth any subsequent offenses, license revocation is for life.

Needless to say, being convicted of a DUI seriously impacts a person’s life by taking away their ability to drive.

New Law Changes Driver’s License Revocation for Fourth DUI Offense

A new state law, referred to as House Bill 1446 or Public Act 099-0290, will be taking effect on January 1, 2016 and will allow individuals in Illinois who have been convicted of four DUIs to be able to apply for a restricted driving permit after completing five years of their revocation period.

In order to be eligible for the restricted driving permit under the new law, the applicant must demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence:

  1. That he or she has experienced a minimum of three years of uninterrupted sobriety from drugs, alcohol, or both; and
  2. That he or she has successfully completed a rehabilitative program or activity recommended by a licensed service provider.

While it is always a good legal strategy to fight a DUI charge that is pending against you so that you are not convicted of the DUI, if you ultimately are convicted, it is also important that you pursue the options available to you to get your driver’s license reinstated as soon as possible.

Under the new law, four-time DUI convictions can become eligible for an administrative hearing to request reinstatement of their driving privileges from the Illinois Secretary of State. In the alternative, these individuals can seek to obtain a restricted driving permit, which can be obtained for the purpose of transporting either yourself or a family member for certain reasons or purposes, including getting to and from work, school, substance abuse rehabilitative services or programs, for obtaining medical care and attending doctor’s appointments, or for getting children to daycare.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Getting a first, second, third or subsequent DUI is a matter that can not be taken lightly. Your rights and your freedom are at stake. Consult with an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney about what options are available to you and whether you can get your driving privileges reinstated sooner rather than later. Please contact a skilled Rolling Meadows DUI attorney immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 for assistance.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/99/099-0290.htm

Illinois May Ditch the Hard Suspension of Licenses after a DUI Arrest

March 23rd, 2015 at 6:53 pm

Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, criminal penalties, Driving under the influence, or “DUI” is a criminal charge that carries with it a host of possible consequences. People who have been injured by intoxicated drivers or who have lost family members in car accidents often advocate for extremely harsh punishment for people caught driving under the influence. Surprisingly, however, even many of these advocates are on board with getting rid of the “hard time” 30-day suspension of the person’s driver’s license that accompanies a DUI arrest in Illinois.

What is a Hard Suspension?

A hard suspension of a person’s driver’s license is a suspension with no exceptions. During a hard suspension a driver is not allowed to drive at all. This is opposed to a suspension where the driver is only allowed to drive under certain circumstances, such as being required to use an ignition interlock device. These are the devices that can be installed in cars that require the driver to blow into them to prove they are not intoxicated in order to operate the vehicle. Hard suspensions prevent drivers from driving to work, taking their children to school, going to alcohol treatment, or fulfilling any of a whole variety of basic life functions. While people who live in certain parts of Chicago may have reliable enough public transportation to do all of these things without driving, those living in the suburbs or in rural parts of the state can lose jobs and support networks. If the goal is to prevent future alcohol abuse and encourage treatment, hard suspensions work against that goal. Yet under current Illinois law, there is a mandatory 30-day hard suspension that follows a DUI arrest.

Movement to Eliminate the Automatic Hard Suspension

The Chicago Tribune reports that the Illinois State Bar Association has proposed ending the mandate that people arrested for DUI completely lose their driver’s licenses for at least 30 days, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is supporting the move; as is a local group called “Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists.” What is the catch? Drivers would be able to get out of the 30-day suspension if they agreed to use an ignition interlock device whenever they drove during the suspension period. This would allow them to go to work, treatment, and other places they need to be while still keeping the community safe. It would also encourage the use of the ignition interlock device, preventing the drivers from drinking and driving on a suspended license. Both the drivers and the community win.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you have been cited for driving under the influence, you need an experienced Rolling Meadows DUI attorney. That is why you should call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. We handle these unique cases regularly and can provide you with the representation you deserve. Reach out to us at (847)394-3200.

Chicago Suburbs Lead in DUI Arrests

September 2nd, 2014 at 7:11 am

DUI, breathalyzer tests, Chicago criminal defense attorney, driving under the influence, Although it may seem like more people recently are being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), it should still be considered a serious offense that deserves the proper attention. Depending on the circumstances, an individual convicted of a DUI can face a substantial prison term, in addition to subsequent supervision and related costs and fines. Considering these potentially harsh penalties, it is advisable to consult with an attorney who is experienced in handling various types of DUI matters for those who are charged with the offense.

DUI Penalties

The sentencing guidelines for DUI offenses increase in severity depending on the circumstances surrounding the offense. The penalties are more severe for those convicted of multiple DUIs in the past than they are for a defendant who has been charged for the first time. Still, even those convicted of DUI for the first time can face a maximum of one year of incarceration and an additional six months if a child was in the car while the offender was operating it. Other factors, such as an accident, or the injury or death of another as the result of the DUI, would enhance sentencing structures, as well as lead to additional criminal charges.

 Popularity of DUI

According to a news article recently published, four suburbs just west of Chicago are in the top ten Illinois communities for most DUI arrests in 2013. It found the community of Rockford was first, with a total of 556 DUI arrests last year. The suburb of Naperville was a close second, with 553 arrests for DUI, which was actually a four percent decrease from the 576 that occurred in Naperville in 2012.  The remainder of the suburbs were Carol Stream, which was number five on the list with 392 arrests, Elmhurst ranked sixth with 300, and Aurora, with a total of 256 individuals arrested for DUI, came in tenth place across the state.

The Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists completed the survey and compiled the data related to Illinois’ DUI arrests, which it does annually. The purpose of the survey, in part, is to determine how many DUI-related arrests are made by law enforcement in the state of Illinois and to recognize the police departments and officers who are the most productive in combating drinking and driving. Almost 700 police agencies were surveyed, and about 84 percent of those responded. Other suburbs were notably ranked in the top 25 for DUI arrests, including Wheaton and Lombard.

Criminal Defense Attorney

DUI cases call for expert guidance from an experienced Illinois defense attorney. If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI in the Chicago area of Illinois, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today for a consultation to discuss your matter. We have experience representing clients in Cook County and the surrounding area.

New Laws to Improve Illinois Boating Safety

November 7th, 2013 at 1:00 pm

boatSenator Julie Morrison has sponsored a bill, which along with other measures will make waterways safer next year.  For Morrison, this bill is personal.  In 2012, her nephew, 10 year old Anthony Borcia was killed after falling off a tube on Petite Lake in Northern Illinois.  Morrison stated that “for me, this law is about turning a personal tragedy into an opportunity to protect other people.  Last summer, my nephew was killed by a boater under the influence of drugs and alcohol.  I’m doing everything I can to keep other families from experiencing our loss.”

The person responsible for Tony’s death was David Hatyina.  He was sentenced to ten years in jail after pleading guilty to operating a motorboat while under the influence of alcohol and cocaine.  His blood alcohol level while operating his boat was between .09 and .12, which is over the legal limit.

One measure that was signed into law would make the penalties harsher for people who operate boats under the influence.  If convicted of this crime, offenders would have their driver’s license suspended for three months.  It also requires boaters who are involved in boat accidents to submit to a breathalyzer or other chemical blood alcohol test.  This is how implied consent works when a driver is suspected of DUI.

The other measure would require certification before certain people can operate a watercraft.  People who were born on or after the first day of 1990 would need to complete a boat operation safety course and also receive certification from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  Without this new law, only kids from the ages of 12 and 18 need to be certified unless they are driving a boat with their parent or 18 year old guardian.  The last bill would require boats who are towing a person to show an orange flag as a warning to other boaters.

Morrison also stated that “people need to know that drinking and boating is every bit as serious as drinking and driving.  I hope that requiring blood alcohol tests in the case of serious boating accidents will make some people think twice before they crack open a beer while they are operating a boat.”  If you have been operating any vehicle and pulled over for suspicion of DUI, you need help.  Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Rolling Meadows who can handle your case.

Woman Takes Plea Agreement for Aggravated DUI

June 19th, 2013 at 9:59 am

Being arrested and charged with a DUI can be a frightening experience particularly for a person who had no knowledge that a crime was committed. An incident that took place back in December resurfaces in recent news when a woman takes a plea agreement.

Pam The 34-year-old woman admitted to driving while under the influence. Her actions caused the death of a 60-year-old man driving a scooter. However, she claims she did not know she had hit anyone. She thought she had hit the curb only.

Some might say that she was fully aware of what she was doing, getting behind the wheel under the influence and with a revoked license. In addition, the woman denied driving the vehicle but later confessed.

The police say that the woman ran a red light and hit a man on a motorcycle who later died of his injuries. She was later arrested the day of the incident at about 7:00 am, two hours after the incident. She was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Being intoxicated impairs a person’s judgement. Unfortunately, the person who is drinking does not realize that they are impaired, and they may use poor judgment to drink and drive, putting him or herself and everyone else on the road in danger. One bad decision has the potential to ruin the lives of many.

A DUI arrest is a serious matter. It does not make you a bad person, but if someone is injured as a result of your poor decision, it can be devastating to the victim, their family, and to you. In a DUI case, time is of the essence. It is imperative for the accused individual to have proper legal representation. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DUI, contact a criminal defense attorney in Illinois to discuss your options and the best course of action.

 

Image courtesy of Naypong of freedigitalphotos.net

Woman Driving Home from Funeral Arrested for DWI

January 24th, 2013 at 8:00 am

Giron AccidentFour women were on their way home from a funeral early on Wednesday night.  The driver, Cindy Giron, claimed that they were being ‘chased’ by a vehicle which caused her to hit a concrete planter box that divided the road.  They were driving east on Madison Street and just passing Bishop at 12:50 am when the single car accident occurred.

The damage done to Giron’s car made it not drivable.  The police who responded to the scene noticed all the girls out of the car.  Including Giron’s sister who was lying flat on the pavement, which had Giron visibly shaken.  She continually asked the officers what she “did to her sister” and questioned if her sister was going to die while crying uncontrollably.  Luckily, no one involved was seriously hurt although they were transported to local hospitals.

As the authorities were cleaning up the accident and assessing the damage done, they came across a gallon jug of Carlo Rossi wine which was three quarters empty.  They also had been drinking wine earlier in the night at the funeral.  When Giron was tested, her blood alcohol level was 0.246, which is over three times the legal limit of .08.

She was charged with felony aggravated DUI and two counts misdemeanor DUI.  Giron was also ticketed for negligent driving, driving without a license, illegal transportation of alcohol and failure to produce proof of insurance.  Charges for driving under the influence can receive very harsh sentencing.  To ensure that your rights are protected, contact a supportive criminal defense attorney in Cook County today.

First time offenders get second chance with DuPage program

November 18th, 2012 at 10:16 am

DuPage County has put in place a new way of thinking for first-time offenders. The new program allows these first time offenders to have a felony conviction wiped from their record.

Last week, State’s Attorney Bob Berlin announced a pretrial diversion. Berlin said the new program would do more to rehabilitate low-level felons and free up resources to fight for intense, violent crime. Since Berlin took office two years ago, this new program is based off of similar efforts in Kane, McHenry, and Cook counties, but it slightly unique.

To be eligible, defendants must be first time offenders charged with nonviolent felonies including retail theft or forgery, and be referred for the program by their own attorney or the state’s attorney’s office. Eligible candidates are them interviewed by a program director, after which they appear before a panel of citizens. In each setting, the defendant must take responsibility for his or her crime. A recommendation is made by the panel, and Berlin’s office makes the final decision whether or not to accept the candidate.

The panel will be made up of about 20 community volunteers that will divide the cases according to Berlin. Nothing that the panel learns about the defendants can be used against them if they are not accepted.

If candidates make it through the entire process, they must plead guilty and agree to conditions conditions that will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Conditions may include community serive, counseling, drug tests, employment or education, etc.

After one year, if the defendant has met all the expectations, the charges will be dismissed.

The fee to apply to the program is $50 and those accepted must pay $750, which goes to the DuPage County general fund.

A difference between this program and that of Kane County is the defendants must plead guilty before completing the process, whereas in Kane, defendants plead after completing the program. Kane has an 80 percent success rate and Berlin is hoping for even better.

If you have a mark on your record that you would like to be dismissed that follow the guidelines of this program contact a local attorney that can help you. Again, it must be a first time, nonviolent offense. For more information to find out if you are eligible, contact The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley in Rolling Meadows, IL.

Highland Park Woman Now Faces Reckless Homicide Charges

September 30th, 2012 at 10:27 am

According to the Chicago Sun Times, a Highland Park woman now faces much more serious charges following her involvement in a Labor Day crash that killed a five-year-old girl who had been walking down the street with her family. 18-year-old Carly Rousso was driving her Lexus coupe east on Central Avenue in Highland Park when she veered across several lanes of traffic and left the road, driving onto the sidewalk and hitting five-year-old Jaclyn Santos-Sacramento, her mother, and two brothers. At the time, Rousso was charged only with DUI, and released from jail on a $50,000 bond.

After receiving the results of State Police Crime lab tests, however, prosecutors now have upgraded Rousso’s charges to reckless homicide and four counts of driving under the influence of an intoxicating compound. Lab tests detected the presence of the chemical compound difluoroethane in Rousso’s bloodstream at the time of the accident, which is one of several compounds commonly used when “huffing”, or inhaling chemicals in order to get high. Police also found a commercial cleaning product in Rousso’s car at the time of the accident that contained difluoroethane. Rousso turned herself in on the new charges and her bond has increased to $500,000.

Reckless homicide charges can result in a felony conviction with long-lasting consequences, including lengthy prison sentences. As a result, Rousso and anyone who faces such severe criminal charges should immediately take steps to protect themselves and build a strong defense in order to prevent or at least mitigate a potential conviction. For instance, Chicago felony defense attorneys commonly examine lab tests results and enlist the assistance of experts in order to help diminish the damaging effects of those results and/or interpret the results so as to use them to the defendant’s benefit.

If you or a loved one is facing serious felony criminal charges such as reckless homicide or aggravated driving under the influence of a chemical, you must seek the assistance of a qualified Chicago criminal defense lawyer right away. With your attorney’s help, you may be able to seek dismissal of the criminal charges, or at least minimize the penalties that you may face in the event of a conviction.