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Archive for the ‘drinking and driving’ tag

Legal Issues Surrounding DUI Checkpoints

October 9th, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Illinios criminal defense attorney, Illinois DUI attorney, driving while intoxiated, DWI, Driving under the influence (DUI) cases are some of the more common cases in criminal court. While many cases may be relatively straightforward, there are certain issues that can pop up concerning police procedure in bringing these charges. Of course, each criminal case involving a DUI or other criminal charges should be evaluated in light of the particular facts surrounding the case in order to determine any issues present, as well as options the specific defendant has in addressing the charges.

One such issue that may become relevant in a DUI case is the context in which the defendant was pulled over. Some of those charged with DUI may be observed to be driving in a reckless manner by law enforcement; others may have committed a traffic infraction giving the officer pretext for the stop. Still others may have been charged with a DUI as the result of passing through a DUI checkpoint. A recent report looks at DUI checkpoints and the potential legal issues that result from them in some states, including Illinois.

No Refusal

In some states across the country, including Illinois, law enforcement officials are allowed to conduct what are known as “no-refusal” DUI checkpoints. While the legality of DUI checkpoints in general has been established for quite some time, these specific types of checkpoints are raising concerns in states that conduct them. No-refusal checkpoints involve ordering drivers who are suspected of DUI to submit to a blood test if they first refuse a standard field sobriety test.

The blood test is generally conducted after probable cause for commission of the crime is found, but some defense attorneys are saying the procedure is just a way to get around other laws in place. One problem is that the search warrants claiming probable cause to administer a blood test against the person’s wishes are reportedly mass-produced, something that goes against the general requirements of specificity and narrow scope that such documents should have. At least 30 states, counting Illinois, either have conducted no-refusal initiatives, or have the authority to do so.

On the other hand, law enforcement officials cite staggering statistics about drunk drivers and the need to get them off the road as support for no-refusal initiatives. They say that no-refusal checkpoints do not use procedure that is any different than what would otherwise be used in a DUI stop. In some states, the only difference would be the site at which the blood is drawn – normally, suspects are taken to a hospital for a blood draw after a warrant is issued for the test, while during no-refusal initiatives, there may be nurses at a jail to draw blood there. It is notable that in some states, law enforcement and judges have declined to take part in no-refusal initiative because of concerns over their legality.

DUI Lawyer

If you have been charged with a DUI, contact the experienced Rolling Meadows defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley 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.

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