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Archive for the ‘field sobriety testing’ tag

Drugs, Alcohol and Driving: Serious Criminal Consequences

August 19th, 2016 at 7:00 am

Drugs, Alcohol and Driving: Serious Criminal ConsequencesDriving under the influence is a serious offense in Illinois, and law enforcement does not take it lightly. Illinois law provides for three different types of DUI offenses: driving under the influence of alcohol, driving under the influence of drugs, or driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, according to 625 ILCS 5/11-501.

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

When it comes to driving under the influence of drugs, there are two levels of this offense: driving under the influence and driving with drugs in your system. Driving under the influence of drugs involves the arresting officer’s judgment call concerning whether you were operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs. Only officers who have received training concerning how people behave when they are on drugs are really qualified to make this judgment call. Inexperienced law enforcement officers may lack the skill and training to appropriately and correctly identify suspected drugged drivers. In order to be convicted, there must be proof of the charge that you were under the influence of drugs at the time of the arrest. The smell of drugs (e.g., the smell of marijuana) or the driver’s admission of having taken drugs at some other time in the past is not enough. However, if drug paraphernalia is found in the vehicle, or the driver is unable to perform field sobriety tests, this evidence is more concrete.

Driving with drugs in your system involves being tested to prove that you had some concentration of drug in your body at the time of arrest or shortly thereafter. These tests could include breath, blood, or urine testing. These tests must be completed by individuals who are trained and qualified to perform these tests. For instance, breathalyzer testing can be conducted by a law enforcement officer who is trained to perform such testing. However, blood and urine testing must be done by a qualified medical professional, and must be done within a certain amount of time after you are taken into custody by law enforcement. There are also specific procedural requirements for how these types of tests are conducted, which are provided for under the law. The testing procedure must be performed in accordance with the law, or else any resulting evidence may be inadmissible against you.

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs And Alcohol

Drugs and alcohol can be a dangerous mixture, with highly intoxicating effects. Police have the right to request a blood or urine sample for testing to determine whether or not the driver was intoxicated at the time of arrest.

Charged With A DUI? Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Facing a DUI for driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both is serious business. If you have been charged with a DUI, please do not hesitate to contact a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately for help with your case.

Source:

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

When You Are Charged As A Repeat DUI Offender

August 18th, 2016 at 8:46 am

When You Are Charged As A Repeat DUI Offender, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneyBeing charged with a first DUI is bad enough, but being charged with a second, third or subsequent DUI can be worse. DUIs are serious matters, and anyone who has been charged with a DUI needs to seek the help of an experienced Illinois DUI lawyer immediately. The differences between facing DUI charges as a first time offender and facing DUI charges as a repeat offender are striking. Illinois law takes repeat DUI offenses very seriously. For instance:

  • When you are facing a third or subsequent DUI charge, you are facing a felony charge under 625 ILCS 5/11-501(d)(2)(B);
  • A second DUI conviction within 20 years of a first DUI conviction will result in driver’s license revocation for a period of five years; and
  • A third DUI conviction will result in driver’s license revocation for a period of 10 years.

When it comes to DUIs, the Illinois courts can look back into your driving history for prior DUI convictions; indeed, they can look back to when you first were granted driving privileges. This means that any prior DUI conviction in Illinois will be taken into consideration when determining your punishment for a second or subsequent DUI conviction.

Any number of aggravating factors can make things worse for you when you are facing a second or subsequent DUI. For instance, having a blood alcohol concentration twice the legal limit (the legal limit is 0.08 percent), driving while under the influence with a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle, or being involved in an accident that causes severe bodily harm or death to another can all exacerbate the penalties you may face if convicted. An experienced DUI defense lawyer understands what is at stake for you and will work diligently to get your charges dropped or reduced and will work hard to ensure that you receive fair treatment under the law.

Possible Defenses to DUI Charges

Any number of defenses could be raised against the DUI charges you are facing, but what defenses may be appropriate are determined on a case by case basis. Based on the specific facts and circumstances surrounding your DUI arrest, certain defenses may be available to you, while others may not. Some common defenses that are typically raised against DUI charges include:

  • The traffic stop was not a valid stop;
  • The breathalyzer device was not properly calibrated;
  • The field sobriety tests were not properly conducted;
  • Police failed to follow appropriate protocol concerning breathalyzer testing, field sobriety testing, the stop, or the arrest; or
  • Police violated your rights.

Reach Out to an Attorney for Help

It is possible to move past a DUI charge and get on with your life, but you will need the help of an experienced Illinois DUI criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights and freedom. Please do not wait unnecessarily to contact a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney for assistance with your case.

Source:

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

Field Sobriety Testing in Illinois

December 23rd, 2015 at 4:54 pm

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois dui lawyer, Illinois criminal lawyer, Law enforcement in Illinois takes driving under the influence of alcohol very seriously. Police regularly conduct DUI checkpoints, and pull over drivers who are suspected of operating a vehicle while under the influence. Before making an arrest, officers generally will ask a suspected drunk driver to participate in field sobriety testing, in accordance with 625 ILCS 5/11-501.2(a-5).

What Are the Standard Field Sobriety Tests in Illinois?

Many people have heard of field sobriety tests, but are not clear on what these tests are or what they entail until they are faced with them while pulled over on the side of the road. The standard field sobriety tests (FST) were developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and consist of three tests designed to present indicators of intoxication of an individual. The tests include:

  • The One Leg Stand. Under this test, a suspect is required to stand on one leg, raising one foot off the ground six inches and must maintain his or her balance for a full 30 seconds;
  • The Walk-and-Turn. A suspect is instructed to execute the test according to the officer’s instructions exactly. The instructions require the suspect to walk nine steps forward in a heel-to-toe fashion in a straight line, turn around on one leg, and walk nine steps backwards; and
  • The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. When a person is under the influence of alcohol, they may exhibit involuntary jerky eye movements, or the inability to smoothly visually track an object.

These tests assess physiological responses to alcohol, such as slow movement, poor sense of balance and poor memory function, to determine whether a driver might be intoxicated.

How Accurate Are These Tests?

One might wonder how accurate FSTs can be when people have medical conditions, are panicked by being pulled over by law enforcement, or have other legitimate reasons for not being able to perform the FSTs perfectly. Research conducted for the NHTSA on just how accurate these tests are at determining whether a suspect is under the influence reveals that:

  • The one leg stand test is accurate about 83 percent of the time;
  • The walk-and-turn test is only accurate 79 percent of the time; and
  • The horizontal gaze nystagmus test is accurate 88 percent of the time.

Field sobriety tests are voluntary, and you can refuse to participate in them. While there are consequences of not submitting to FSTs, it can be helpful if you are later charged since you will not have those tests as evidence against you. Failing one of these tests often gives the officer probable cause to make an arrest.

Let Our Attorneys Help You

Being arrested for a DUI is serious business. If you are facing DUI charges, you refused to submit to field sobriety testing, or you refused to submit to a breathalyzer or some other chemical testing to determine your blood alcohol concentration, you will need to consult with an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer can discuss what options are available to you. Please contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows DUI attorney immediately at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. You can reach us at (847) 394-3200 today.

 

Source:

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

http://dwitrialprep.com/sfst_anacopa_1998.pdf

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