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Archive for the ‘DUI/DWI’ Category

What You Should Know About Underage Drinking in Illinois

August 17th, 2018 at 11:02 am

Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, underage drinking, underage drinking charges, felony charges, Class A misdemeanorIllinois is not the only state that has strict laws regarding underage drinking. In Illinois, it is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to drink or possess alcohol. Even so, there are many individuals under the age of 21 that decide to drink alcoholic beverages.

Being charged with underage drinking can be detrimental to a minor’s future. Consider the following information that you should know about underage drinking in Illinois.

An Underage Drinking Charge is Considered a Class a Misdemeanor in Illinois

For anyone under the age of 21, it is illegal to possess or consume alcohol. Being found to have any amount of alcohol in your system as a minor can result in a Class A misdemeanor charge. It is also illegal for minors to transport open alcohol containers in their vehicles. This carries the potential of up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.

Fake IDs Can Result in a Felony Charge

Often, what goes hand in hand with underage drinking is the underage individual using fake identification that states they are 21 or older. However, using a fake ID and being caught with it can bring about a felony charge. One can be convicted of a Class 4 felony.

The penalty for a Class 4 felony can be one to three years in jail and fines up to $25,000. The felony charge applies to “fraudulent” driver’s licenses. Fraudulent means that the ID was made by someone other than the federal government. Possessing an ID that contains incorrect information can result in a misdemeanor charge.

There is Zero Tolerance for Underage Drinking and Driving

Illinois has developed a strict zero tolerance policy for individuals under the age of 21 who have consumed alcohol and drove. If an underage individual is found to have any trace of alcohol in his or her system while driving, then he or she will be charged with a DUI. Furthermore, the driver will lose his or her driving privileges. Additionally, the first offense carries a three-month suspension of his or her driving privileges.

A second conviction for an underage DUI is a one-year suspension of driving privileges. Additional charges and convictions will result in harsher penalties. A blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more can result in a DUI charge and result in stricter penalties and longer suspension of driving privileges.

Contact Us Today for Help

Skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley knows that an underage drinking conviction can be devastating to a young person’s life. Do not let one charge result in a lifetime of consequences. Attorney Cosley is committed to your defense. Years of experience has resulted in an aggressive approach to defending cases. Contact us today to get your defense started.

Source:

http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/traffic_safety/DUI/uselose.html

My Child Was in the Car During a DUI Arrest. Now What?

July 16th, 2018 at 6:54 am

adult DUI, child endangerment, DUI arrest, Illinois DUI laws, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneyFor most parents, their children’s safety is a top priority in their life. Even with the best of intentions, parents can make mistakes that put their own safety and their children’s at risk. For some Illinois parents, a child might face a greater risk of injury because of an adult driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When this happens, a parent might have more to worry about than a pending driving under the influence (DUI) charge. There can be greater consequences for a DUI charge when there is a minor child present in the vehicle.

DUI Law in Illinois

In Illinois, a driver can be charged with a DUI if they are operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more. A DUI charge brings the risk of potential jail time, fines, court costs, probation, or even court-mandated alcohol treatment. When a driver is charged with a DUI when their child is in the car, child endangerment laws also come into consideration. In Illinois, child endangerment results any time that a minor’s welfare is put in harm’s way because of the reckless behavior of a parent or guardian. In the most extreme cases involving child endangerment, a parent or guardian could even have his or her parental rights terminated because of the endangerment.

All states try to look out for the best interests of minor children. As such, each state has its own laws pertaining to DUIs and minor children. In Illinois, a driver who is charged with a DUI with a minor child present will be charged with a DUI and child endangerment. In the event that a defendant is not charged with child endangerment right away, the state’s attorney reserves the right to add the charge against the defendant after further review.

For the purpose of DUI laws and minor children, in Illinois a minor child is someone that is under the age of 16. While 16 is not traditionally the age in which a child is no longer considered a minor, Illinois courts and legislators have determined that a 16-year-old has the ability to think freely and therefore not get in the vehicle with an intoxicated adult. Additionally, the more offenses a defendant has in his or her history, the harsher the punishment will be.

We Can Help You Today

If you have been charged with a DUI and your child was present resulting in an additional child endangerment charge, you need a dedicated and skilled attorney. A skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley is here to help you. Don’t let one mistake ruin your life, or your child’s life. Contact us today for a consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt.+12C&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=32050000&SeqEnd=32750000

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

Lyft Driver Charged in Fatal Crash with Intoxicated Driver

July 2nd, 2018 at 5:03 pm

DUI charges, DUI conviction, fatal car crash, Lyft car accident, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneyBoth a driver for the rideshare company Lyft and another motorist are facing charges for driving under the influence (DUI) after a fatal crash last month.

One man was driving and crossed over the center line, according to WGN9 Chicago. He collided with the Lyft driver head-on. The passenger in the Lyft was not injured and is in good condition. Unfortunately, the female passenger in the first driver’s vehicle was killed as a result of the crash. She was taken to the hospital where she later died from her injuries.

The motorist was charged with a felony aggravated DUI that resulted in the accident and death and is also facing a misdemeanor driving under the influence of drugs charge. The Lyft driver is facing charges of driving under the influence of drugs. Again, this is a misdemeanor charge.

Illinois takes DUI charges very seriously because they can have a devastating impact on more than just the driver of a vehicle. As such, it is imperative that you understand Illinois DUI law in case you are facing a DUI charge.

What is a DUI?

According to Illinois law, a person can be charged with a DUI when driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, intoxicating compounds, or a combination of substances. If a driver’s blood alcohol concentration is greater than .08, then he or she will be charged with a DUI. In order to be charged with a DUI in Illinois, the driver must be in “actual physical control” of the vehicle.

DUIs in Illinois are handled on a sliding scale. The more DUI convictions on a person’s record, the harsher the punishment he or she will receive. Even a first-time DUI offender will be punished — the state wants to deter drivers from operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and drugs and being a public safety hazard.

The following includes a classification of DUI penalties:

  • Class A Misdemeanor: The first DUI offense results in a short jail sentence, license suspension, and fines;
  • Class 2 Felony: This may lead to fines, probation, prison time, and even suspension of driving privileges;
  • Class 1 Felony: This may lead to a lifetime suspension of driving privileges and vehicle registration, along with other penalties; and
  • Class X Felony: A Class X felony results following the sixth or greater. This can result in up to 30 years in prison.

Contact an Attorney for Help

A DUI conviction can drastically alter your life. You want to have an attorney who is on your side and ready to fight for you. The skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley is awaiting your call to work diligently to get you the best possible outcome.

Sources:

http://wgntv.com/2018/06/10/lyft-passenger-killed-in-logan-square-crash-driver-charged-police-say/

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

Four Commonly Asked Questions About Illinois DUI Law

May 28th, 2018 at 6:00 am

DUI charges, DUI convictions, first DUI, Illinois DUI law, Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorneyBeing faced with a driving under the influence (DUI) charge in Illinois can be scary. You don’t know what to expect or what is going to happen. Ultimately, the best way to prepare is by understanding more about your charges. 

What is a DUI?

Pursuant to Illinois law, an individual who is operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more can be charged with a DUI. A DUI is not limited to only driving with alcohol in one’s system. A person can be charged with a DUI if he or she is intoxicated by drugs, intoxicating compounds, or methamphetamine is in his or her system.

BAC refers to the ratio of alcohol to the blood in your system. A BAC of .08 makes it illegal in Illinois to operate a motor vehicle. However, this standard only applies to individual over the age of 21, the legal drinking age. A driver under the age of 21 must have a BAC of 0. Any amount over 0 and the individual may face a DUI charge.

Will I Go to Jail?

The punishment, or sentence received, after a finding of guilt, depends on how many DUI convictions a person has on his or her record. The sentencing for a DUI can be fines and court costs, probation, jail time, or a combination of the three.

Because driving under the influence is dangerous, Illinois imposes the potential for strict penalties. Even an individual who is being charged with his or her first DUI faces the potential for jail time. Of course, while there are strict penalties associated with a DUI, it is important to remember that you have the opportunity to present a defense in your case to reduce a sentence or even get a case dismissed.

Will My License Be Suspended?

An individual convicted of a DUI does risk license suspension or revocation. Drivers under the age of 21 who are driving with any amount of alcohol, or other impairing substance, will automatically lose their license. Illinois has a zero tolerance policy for minors drinking and driving.

It is not just drivers under the age of 21 who are at risk of losing their license; anyone who is charged with a DUI risks license suspension or revocation. A driver will automatically face suspension if he or she fails to submit to or complete chemical testing for the DUI. Additionally, conviction of a DUI carries the possible sentence of license suspension.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

Yes. There is no question that a lawyer can help make the process of a DUI charge easier. Dedicated Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley is experienced in DUI defense and will present the best case possible under the circumstances. Our office combines years of experience with passion to defend clients. We know what defenses are applicable to your case to help you get you the best outcome possible. Reach out to us today for assistance.

Sources:

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

http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/losepriv.html

Five Questions You Should Ask a DUI Attorney

May 10th, 2018 at 8:43 am

DUI attorney, DUI charges, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, DUI questions, DUI trialIf you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Illinois, you need a skilled and experienced DUI attorney to handle your case. Finding the right attorney for you is important. An attorney is not one size fits all. Therefore, it is essential to ask any potential DUI attorney questions to ensure that a successful and productive attorney-client relationship will result.

Questions to Ask an Attorney

If you are facing DUI charges, make sure to ask these five questions of any attorney you contact:

  1. How much experience do you have handling DUI cases? It is important to have an attorney who has experience handling cases like yours. Experience brings about confidence and a knowledge level that can assist you in your case. Additionally, asking the results of different cases can give you an idea of what could happen in your situation.
  2. What is your caseload? It is no secret that attorneys often handle multiple cases at once; it is how they make a living. However, you want to be sure that the attorney has the time and resources available to adequately represent you.
  3. Who will actually handle my case day-to-day? The size of a law firm determines the number of attorneys employed at that firm. Additionally, a larger law firm is likely to have a larger number of cases to juggle. As a result, an attorney other than the one you hired may be the one handling your case. Or, support staff may do the heavy lifting for a case. Alternatively, at a smaller firm, the attorney you hire will likely be the one to handle your case, in addition to help from law clerks and paralegals. Knowing who will be involved in the day-to-day activities of your case is important so that you are always informed of the happenings in your case.
  4. How often do you take cases to trial? Many cases are resolved outside of the courtroom. In DUI cases, plea deals often result. Therefore, you need to be sure that your attorney can take the case all the way to trial if that is the best route.
  5. What is the cost of representation? As with any service, attorneys cost money. It is worth spending the money to make sure you have the best possible defense to your DUI charge. However, you need to be aware of the cost before you hire an attorney. There will be a fee agreement between the attorney and client to ensure that both parties know exactly what to expect in terms of fees and expenses.

We Can Help You Today

Asking these questions at the outset of an attorney-client relationship can eliminate potential problems as your case progresses. If you need assistance with your DUI case, do not hesitate to contact a talented Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our firm for immediate help.

Sources:

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/SupremeCourt/Rules/Art_VIII/ArtVIII_NEW.htm

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

Can I Get a DUI on a Bike in Illinois?

April 17th, 2018 at 8:59 am

DUI on a bike, Rolling Meadows DUI attorney, DUI conviction, aggravated DUI, DUI penaltiesAfter drinking too much, the worst decision is to get into a vehicle and drive. Taking a cab, ride share, or otherwise getting a ride home is the best option. However, some people may want to ride their bike home after having a bit too much to drink. This option is safer than driving a car; however, there are safety risks to riding a bike under the influence. Additionally, while there are certainly dangers to riding a bike under the influence of alcohol, and other states give DUIs to bike riders, you will not receive a DUI charge.

Illinois DUI Laws

Illinois DUI statute states that “a person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle” while having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more. The definition of vehicle under Illinois law is a device that transports a person or property, “except devices moved by human power.” By definition, a bike is not categorized as a vehicle. A bike is “moved by human power.”

In order to receive a DUI on a bike, the bicycle must be motorized and capable of traveling greater than 20 miles an hour. That being said, while you cannot get a DUI while riding a bike, riders are still subject to the same laws as motor vehicle drivers in Illinois.

Even if you cannot receive a DUI while riding a bike, you can definitely still receive a DUI while operating your car. Driving under the influence is dangerous, but it does happen. Moreover, you need to be aware of what can happen if you are charged with a DUI.

If you are convicted of a DUI, you can face hefty penalties. The more DUIs you have on your record, the more severe the consequences get. In Illinois, one DUI can lead to a license suspension for three months, or even more. A second DUI conviction carries the possibility of a one-year suspension of your license. Receiving a third DUI can lead to the suspension of your license for up to 10 years. The penalties rise from there. Both misdemeanor and felony convictions are possible, as well as a charge of an aggravated DUI.

Let Us Help You with Your Case

If you have been charged with a DUI, you need a dedicated and experienced Rolling Meadows DUI attorney who can fight for you. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we are uniquely qualified to handle your DUI defense. Do not hesitate to contact us today for help.

Sources:

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

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K1-217

Do I Need to Participate in a Field Sobriety Test?

March 9th, 2018 at 7:18 am

drunk driving, DUI charge, field sobriety test, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, DUI attorneyRed, white, and blue represent freedom in the United States, but those take on a completely different meaning when you see them flashing in the rearview mirror of your car. Being pulled over can be scary and you might not be sure what to expect. If a police officer suspects that you are driving under the influence of alcohol, a simple traffic stop turns into much more.

Illinois Field Sobriety Tests

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a study to determine what sobriety tests are the most effective in determining if a suspect is driving under the influence. Illinois uses “Standardized Field Sobriety Tests” on individuals to determine their intoxication. It is imperative that individuals understand what these tests are so that they are better equipped should a situation arise when they are faced with the question of participating in them.

  • Walk and Turn: This is a test that officers use to judge your balance and if you stagger while you walk. This test requires that you walk in a straight line, heel to toe, for nine paces and then turn around and walk back to the start. Arms are kept at your side, and the officer may instruct you to count the steps (one through nine) out loud.
  • One Leg Stand: This test also judges your balance and ability to follow directions. You will stand with your legs together and then the officer will instruct you to lift one leg off of the ground and stand there. Usually, the officer will instruct you to lift your foot six inches off the ground for up to 30 seconds.
  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: This is a more “complex” test and it produces the most reliable results of the field sobriety tests. The officer will look for involuntary jerking of your eyes that is linked to alcohol consumption. The officer will move his finger, or a pen, from side to side and instruct you to follow it with your eyes.

Participation Requirements

Illinois law does not require you to participate in field sobriety tests. You are allowed to refuse any field sobriety test that the officer wants to conduct. There are no penalties for refusing the sobriety test. This is different than other states that will use this refusal to participate in a field sobriety test against you in further charges. Again, it is likely that you will be arrested after refusing a field sobriety test, but there are no further penalties associated with the refusal.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

If you have been charged with a DUI, or submitted to field sobriety tests, but wish you had not, contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we will explore every option and defense that is available to you. Reach out to a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our office today for immediate help with your case.

Source:

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

Drugged Driving in Illinois

February 5th, 2018 at 8:40 am

Class 4 felony, drugged driving, DUI charges, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, drug convictionMuch focus is on drunk driving. Even though motorists know they should not drive after drinking, many do anyway. This often leads to serious accidents.

Now that recreational marijuana use is legal in many states—including Illinois—it is important for motorists to understand that drugged driving is against the law as well. If a person is pulled over for driving recklessly and is found to have drugs in his or her system, he or she could face DUI charges, regardless of whether or not he or she is at the legal limit.

However, measuring the amount of drugs in one’s blood is easier said than done. There is no 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC) equivalent for marijuana and other drugs. Plus, unlike alcohol, drugs can stay in a person’s body for weeks after use.

Illinois does have laws in place regarding drugged driving. Therefore, if you do use marijuana—whether for recreational or medicinal purposes—and drive later, you could face DUI charges. 

What is Considered Drugged Driving?

Illinois law allows five nanograms of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per milliliter of blood or 10 nanograms or more per milliliter of urine or other bodily substance. However, it is also illegal for a person to drive in an unsafe manner and have even the smallest amount of drugs in his or her system. A police officer may perform a blood, breath or urine test, or require the driver to submit to field sobriety testing.

Drugged Driving Penalties

A first offense can result in a $2,500 fine, one year in prison and license suspension for one year. If a person is convicted of a second offense, the penalties increase. They include license suspension for five years, a $2,500 fine, one year of imprisonment, 30 days of community service and completion of a substance treatment program.

Once a person is convicted of three or more DUI charges, the charges become Class 4 felonies. A person will lose his or her driving privileges for six years and be subject to penalties such as drug treatment, a $10,000 fine, and three years in prison.

The penalties are enhanced when the driver is in a school zone or has a passenger under the age of 16 in the car at the time. Enhanced penalties also apply if the driver is under the influence of drugs and causes an accident that results in serious injury, disfigurement, disability, or death.

Contact Us Today for Help

It is illegal to drive while intoxicated, and that means being under the influence of not only alcohol, but drugs as well. Even marijuana use can impair one’s judgment and lead to accidents.

If you are facing DUI charges for having high levels of marijuana or other drugs in your system, you need legal help right away. The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can defend your case. Passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher Cosley can work to reduce your penalties. Let us help you today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501.2

Illinois Police to Begin Roadside Drug Testing

January 8th, 2018 at 7:31 am

roadside drug testing, Rolling Meadows DUI defense lawyer, drug offense, new drug test, drugged drivingGetting behind the wheel in Illinois while under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs is illegal. However, for the past few decades educational campaigns aimed at deterring drivers from driving under the influence have focused almost exclusively on the evils of drunk driving while largely ignoring the various problems associated with driving while under the influence of drugs. Perhaps this is because, up until recently, police officers have had a reliable tool at their disposal to detect alcohol in a driver’s system (the breathalyzer) while they lacked such an instrument to conduct roadside testing for drugs. However, it seems that this is about to change as at least one Illinois police department plans to begin roadside drug testing in the upcoming months.

The New Test

According to the Chicago Tribune, Carol Stream police officers plan to be the first department in Illinois to implement a new roadside test to determine if drivers are under the influence of one or more drugs. Reportedly, the new roadside test will be able to detect marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, amphetamines, and opiates such as heroin via a chemical test.

The new test will be very similar to the roadside breath tests that police officers currently use; however, instead of blowing into a breathalyzer a suspected impaired driver will have his or her mouth swabbed. Many European countries, as well as a handful of American states, are already using similar roadside tests to determine whether a driver is under the influence of a controlled substance.

How do Police Officers Currently Determine if a Driver is on Drugs?

Currently, an Illinois police officer who suspects a driver of being under the influence of a controlled substance has the option of seeking a blood or urine sample from the driver which can then be tested for drugs. Still, such a sample must be collected and tested at a police station which means that there is often significant lag-time between pulling the driver over and determining if he or she is in fact under the influence of one or more drugs.

Furthermore, these tests are quite expensive. In contrast, the new drug test that is about to be rolled out in Illinois can be administered on the side of the road, will be less expensive and will tell police officers how much of a particular drug is present in a driver’s system (rather than simply indicating whether or not a drug is present).    

Need Legal Advice?

If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Illinois and are looking to protect your legal rights, contact experienced Rolling Meadows DUI defense lawyer Christopher Cosley without delay. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley we defend clients from all walks of life against DUI charges. You do not have to take on the daunting task of fighting your DUI charge alone. Contact us today for help.

Source:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/ct-met-police-drug-driving-test-20171205-story.html

What You Need to Know About Underage DUIs in Illinois

December 12th, 2017 at 8:10 am

Rolling Meadows DUI attorney, underage drinking, underage DUI, zero tolerance policy, driving privilegesWe all know that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in Illinois with a BAC of 0.08 percent or more. Yet did you know that drivers who are under 21 years of age can get in trouble for driving under the influence if they have any detectable amount of alcohol in their system? This is because Illinois has what is known as a zero tolerance driving under the influence policy.

Illinois’ Zero Tolerance Policy

As noted on the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State’s website, a driver who is less than 21 years old and is caught with even a trace amount of alcohol in his or her system can get into a lot of trouble under Illinois’ zero tolerance law. Exactly how much trouble a young driver can get in depends on how much alcohol they are found to have consumed before getting behind the wheel. For example, a person who is under 21 can be charged with a DUI (aka driving under the influence) if he or she is caught with:

  • A BAC of 0.08 percent or more,
  • A BAC of 0.05 percent or more plus additional evidence proving impairment,
  • Any illegal drugs in their system, or
  • Other indications of having been driving while under the influence.

Furthermore, Illinois’ zero tolerance law provides that a driver who is under 21 will lose his or her driving privileges if he or she is caught driving after having consumed any alcohol at all. Underage individuals who get caught driving with alcohol in their system in Illinois lose their driving privileges as follows:

  • If convicted of a first DUI – driving privileges revoked for at least two years.
  • If convicted of a second DUI within five years – driving privileges revoked for at least five years.
  • If stopped and issued a ticket for a traffic violation (first offense) – driving privileges suspended for three months.
  • If stopped and issued a ticket for a traffic violation (second offense) – driving privileges suspended for one year.

The Consequences of Underage DUIs in Illinois

In addition to losing their driving privileges for a specified period of time, underage individuals convicted of driving under the influence in Illinois can be sentenced to serve time in jail (generally imprisonment for up to one year) and/or be ordered to pay a fine (typically up to $2,500). Furthermore, those convicted of driving under the influence often find that the consequences of a DUI conviction extend far beyond the penalties imposed by the court. For example, many people find that after being convicted their insurance provider decides to terminate their auto insurance policy.

Need Legal Advice? Contact a Local Rolling Meadows DUI Attorney

Anyone who has recently been charged with driving under the influence in Illinois should contact an experienced Rolling Meadows DUI attorney Christopher M. Cosley without delay. It is important to realize that driving under the influence, whether you are over or under 21, is a serious criminal offense in Illinois that can carry steep fines and serious jail time. Therefore, if you have been accused of driving under the influence it is critical that you consult with a local criminal defense lawyer about your legal options right away.

Source:

http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/traffic_safety/DUI/uselose.html

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