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Archive for the ‘alcohol’ tag

Severe Consequences for Fatal DUI Driver

April 21st, 2014 at 2:22 pm

drug crimes, lawyer, attorney, criminal defense lawyer, criminal defense attorney, Illinois, ChicagoMany people struggle with addiction and as a result, many criminal cases involve the use, possession, or other acts that occur while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. While these cases alone are often troubling, combining the use of illicit substances and deciding to operate a vehicle can significantly compound a tragic outcome. Such was the case for a man who was recently sentenced to 12 years in prison after being responsible for a fatal accident while under the influence of drug and alcohol.

The Criminal Case

The defendant was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, heroin, and alprazolam at the time of the crash that occurred when he rear-ended a car, killing an 11-year-old boy and severely injuring another car occupant. The car struck was stopped in a line of other vehicles because of an earlier accident that occurred on the road.

After the accident, a urine analysis determined that the defendant had heroin and alprazolam in his system in addition to an illegal amount of alcohol while driving. He pleaded guilty late last year to two counts of aggravated DUI, which meant he would face a maximum sentence of 14 years of incarceration. He was sentenced last week to 12 years jail time, plus a $4,500 fine. Illinois law will require him to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence.

The Dangers of Heroin Use

This case represents just one of the dangers of heroin use. Not only was the incident that claimed the life of an 11-year-old completely preventable, but the defendant will have to deal with the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life. The prosecutor on the case used the defendant’s sentencing hearing as an opportunity to expand on the potential repercussions of using the drug. He stated that heroin in particular is a highly addictive drug that quickly leads users to uncontrollably self-destruct. While the issue of addiction is one that deserves attention, it takes a back seat when that addiction gives rise to criminal behavior that has permanent, devastating effects on other people.

This case represents one of the most tragic outcomes possible for those who participate in drug use. Cases involving the illicit use of drugs and alcohol commonly bring up addiction and treatment issues for the perpetrator of the crime, but in cases like these, where a life is lost senselessly, the needs of the defendant are often secondary to the interest in public safety. If you have been charged with a crime involving drugs, it is crucial to speak to a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney about your options and rights. The attorneys at the Law Office of Christopher M. Cosley have successful experience representing clients charged with drug offenses in the Chicago area. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Zero Tolerance in Illinois

April 10th, 2014 at 12:34 pm

zero tolerance, DUI, driving under the influence, Chicago criminal defense lawyer, DUI defense attorney in IllinoisAccording to United States law, no person under the age of 21 is allowed to consume alcohol and no person of any age is allowed to drive while intoxicated. Many times, adults will have a couple drinks and drive home safely, with a blood alcohol content below the legal level of 0.08. If a person under 21, however, is pulled over and is found to have a blood alcohol content of anything above 0.0, he or she can be charged.

This is called the zero tolerance policy of Illinois for underage drinking, says  CyberDriveIllinois.com. If a person under 21 is caught driving with even a trace of alcohol in his or her system, he or she will lose all driving privileges. Police officers can only pull over a person if he or she has probable cause.

Probable causes can include:

  • Driving over the speed limit;
  • Running a red/yellow light;
  • Not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign or four-way stop;
  • Not driving straight in the traffic lane.

The zero tolerance law says:

  • No person under the age of 21 can purchase, accept, possess, or consume alcohol. Penalties may be suspension/revocation of driving privileges;
  • Any person under 21 who receives court supervision as penalty will receive 3-month suspension of driving privileges;
  • Certain exemptions include religious and medical reasons;
  • All states have zero tolerance laws;
  • Other penalties may be fines, jail time, high insurance costs, mandatory alcohol evaluation and treatment, negative effects on driving record, and negative effects on job opportunities.

If you are caught with alcohol in your system while driving and you are under 21, your driving privileges will be suspended for 3 months. The suspension will be lengthened to one year for a second offense.

Although you can refuse to take a test to determine your blood alcohol level, you can be charged for refusal or failure to complete the test if you are under 21. The first time you refuse, your driving privileges will be suspended for 6 months and as a second offense, they will be suspended for 2 years.

Keep your driving record clean by not drinking and driving. If you have been caught drinking and driving, especially if you are under the age of 21, contact an Illinois criminal attorney to help you in court today.

Minors and Alcohol in Illinois

August 25th, 2013 at 6:54 pm

According to Illinois law, selling and distributing any type of alcoholic beverage to anyone under the age of 21 is illegal. Even though it is against the law, many people still serve alcohol to minors without fear of consequence.

Lucy If someone chooses to sell, deliver, or serve alcohol to a minor, or to any already-intoxicated person, the penalty is that of a Class A Misdemeanor. This applies to any vendor of alcohol, like bars, or any grocery store, drug store or party store. This penalty includes of fine of at least $500 and a jail sentence of up to one year.

Along with a fine and jail time, a business’s liquor license may also be revoked and/or criminal sanctions can be  imposed onto the license, putting restrictions on the license and a “warning.”

This penalty is also for anyone who is over 21 and chooses to purchase alcohol and give it to deliver it to anyone below the age of 21.

Although it is illegal to sell to minors, the minors themselves will also get into trouble for being in possession of alcohol and consuming it. If someone under the age of 21 is in possession of or has consumed alcohol, they have committed a Class C Misdemeanor. If this occurs in a public area, such as a highway or other street, it will be classified as a Class B Misdemeanor.

This will be penalized with up to a $500 fine and up to six months in jail.

The exception to this law is if the person’s job requires him or her to deliver alcohol and he or she is found with it in a vehicle and the alcohol is closed.

Sometimes minors think that it is acceptable to purchase, possess, consume and accept alcohol as a gift if it is for a special occasion. This is only the case if it is done the privacy of the home or during a religious ceremony with approval of the parents, however, parents will get in trouble with a Class A Misdemeanor for allowing underage drinking to occur in the home.

Violating this law will result in a fine of up to $500 and a jail sentence that may be as long as 30 days.

If you have been caught violating Illinois’s alcohol laws, contact a criminal attorney for assistance. Located in Rolling Meadows, Attorney Chris Cosley can help you with your criminal case today.

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