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If you are suspected of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Illinois, you have decisions to make. If you have been drinking and or are nervous, you may not make the wisest decisions.

This is an important time because DUI has two different consequences, although they are, somewhat confusingly, related. DUI is a crime that even for a first offense with no aggravating circumstances, is a Class-A misdemeanor, just one step below a felony charge. It is a crime because you can be sent to jail for up to 364 days and you can be fined up to $2,500.00 (625 ILCS 5/11-500)

There is another part to a DUI arrest, which involves not only efforts by the police to gather evidence against you to convict you of DUI but also to get you off the road temporarily while the DUI case is going on in court. The evidence gathering comes in three general forms.

First of all, the police officer, just like any other person, can observe behaviors that suggest intoxication. You will see these described in the police reports as bloodshot, glassy eyes, slurred speech, unsure walking, poor balance, difficult following directions (such as retrieving your driver’s license, registration and insurance card) and other things we all notice about someone whom we suspect is intoxicated.

The officer will additionally have the benefit, in many cases. of observing your driving behavior. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed a list of driving-related actions that are indicative of alcohol impairment. The most common is a wide turn.

The police also use specific NHTSA-approved tests that they will testify help determine if your BAC level is .08, which in Illinois is the legal limit. These tests are known as the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST). There are three of them.

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Regardless of the situation, an arrest for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Illinois must be treated seriously. Illinois DUI law provides that even a “plain vanilla” (no accident, valid driver’s license, insurance in place, not in a school zone, no other aggravating factors) DUI is a crime that is punishable by jail time of as much as 364 days and a fine that can reach $2,500.00. (625 ILCS 5/11-500)

Furthermore, a DUI arrest carries with it driver’s license consequences. A conviction means an automatic revocation of your driver’s license. (625 ILCS 5/6-205)

When your driver’s license is revoked, before you can obtain full restoration of driving privileges, you must submit yourself to an administrative hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State. In that hearing, you are required to prove that you can be a safe and responsible driver.

At a minimum, you must provide the Secretary of State with a Uniform Drug and Alcohol Evaluation. If the Uniform evaluation is more than six months’ old at the time of your hearing, you must also provide the Secretary of State with an updated evaluation on a form that his office has developed for that purpose. All those documents must be completed by an agency licensed by the Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse (DASA).

The agency that conducts the evaluation will, using DASA guidelines, determine what treatment or other intervention will be necessary for moving forward with your administrative hearing. The DASA guidelines provide for certain minimum classes following a DUI offense.

If this is the first time you have ever been arrested for DUI, in Illinois or any other state, and if you took a breath or blood test and your blood alcohol level (BAL) was .15 or less and you have no abuse or dependency symptoms, your classification would be minimum risk. As such, you would be required to complete a 10-hour course known as Driver Risk Education (DRE).

It is rare that a minimal risk individual is required to have a hearing with the Secretary of State. In most situations, a minimal risk offender would be granted court supervision.

This disposition does not result in a conviction. (730 ILCS 5/5-6-3.1(f)) As such, that person avoids a driver’s license revocation.

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Most drivers recognize that it is illegal, in all 50 states, to commit the offense of Driving Under the Influence, commonly referred to as DUI. 625 ILCS 5/11-501 This offense occurs when there is specific evidence of impaired driving caused by alcohol. However, it can also apply if there is proof that the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 8% alcohol per 210 liters of breath or 8% alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.2

DUI is a crime because if the state can prove the driver guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the driver faces a fine of up to $2,500 and up to 364 days in jail upon being convicted of a first offense in which there are no aggravating factors. Furthermore, a conviction will lead to an automatic termination of the offender’s driver’s license and driving privileges. Those privileges, once revoked, can only be restored through a driver’s license hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State.

There are waiting periods before a driver can apply for restoration of full driving privileges. The waiting periods are longer the more DUI and driving while revoked or suspended offenses the driver has on his or her record and are also lengthened if the driver is offered a breath or blood test and declines to take it.

In some circumstances, the driver may apply for a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) while the revocation is in effect. If the driver has not had a DUI charge in the previous five years, he or she may apply to the Secretary of State for an RDP thirty days after the revocation begins, unless the driver is under 21 or unless this is the second conviction for DUI. In either of those cases, there is a one-year waiting period.

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In Illinois, the clerk of the circuit court serves, for the most part, as the record keeper for the judges. The circuit clerk should not be confused with the county clerk, who maintains, among other things, voting records, birth and death certificate and other personal information.

As far as an Illinois DUI is concerned, a critical function of the circuit clerks is to report DUI convictions to the Illinois Secretary of State. 625 ILCS 5/6-204 Once the Secretary of State is notified of a DUI outcome, his job is to record it to the driver’s Illinois driving record, which is known as a driving “abstract”.

At this point, one caveat is appropriate. The clerk does not report dismissed tickets to the Secretary of State. So if for instance you are charged with speeding and you successfully contest the ticket, either by being found not guilty or persuading the judge to dismiss the charge without a trial, the Secretary of State would have no record of your ever being charged.

The situation can be different with a DUI charge. That’s because when you are arrested for possible DUI, there are two tracks to the case.

You will be charged with DUI, which is a criminal offense, meaning that you can be sent to jail and or be fined. The lowest level of DUI charge can result in a fine of up to $2,500 or 364 days in the county jail, or both.

If the DUI charge is dismissed, the fact you were charged will not show up on your abstract. However, when you are arrested for DUI, you may also incur a driver’ license suspension in connection with the outcome of the request by the police officer that you submit to a chemical test, either of your breath or blood. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.2
If there is a test and the results are at least .08 or if you are asked to test and refuse, your license will be suspended for a period of time that ranges from 6 months to 3 years. This suspension is called a “statutory summary suspension” or SSS.

The SSS is automatic unless you obtain a court order that rescinds (removes) it from your record. Absent this rescission, the SSS stays in effect even if the DUI is thrown out.

That is due to the fact that the SSS is an administrative sanction (it only impairs your license, not your money or freedom and it’s only temporary) so the state does not have to prove you guilty of the DUI. The mere fact you had a .08 or higher or refused to blow is all they need.

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Indian reservations enjoy some autonomy from the state in which they are located. They have their own judicial system. However, one of the legal obligations with which they are supposed to comply is in the enforcement of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) laws, as well as reporting convictions that result. Five reservations in Montana have not been reporting DUI convictions that occur on their lands.

Many states, including Illinois, base criminal sentences upon a driver’s record. In Illinois, a driver who has never been convicted of DUI is eligible for court supervision. 730 ILCS 5/5-6-1
However, any prior supervision, a prior DUI conviction, including an out of state offense, any reckless driving conviction that was the result of a plea bargain, and any statutory summary or implied consent suspension, unless the driver took a breath test and registered .08 or higher and was found not guilty of the DUI, would disqualify the driver from being eligible for supervision. It stands to reason that if a DUI conviction is not reported to the state, someone who was not legally eligible for supervision due to a prior conviction could still receive it.

Supervision is important for two reasons. First, a supervision disposition cannot include jail time. Second, supervision is not a conviction for purposes of base driving privileges (the rules are different for CDL holders). While a conviction results in an automatic revocation of driving privileges and the need for a formal hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State (625 ILCS 5/6-205), supervision avoids a conviction.

The number of DUI convictions and summary suspensions is critical in other areas of Illinois DUI law. At the time of a DUI arrest, the driver will be asked to submit to chemical testing, either breath or blood, to determine the blood alcohol level (BAL).

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In all likelihood, the vast majority of police officers are honest people trying to do their jobs. They may have a different take as far as the specifics of a particular arrest for DUI are concerned and sometimes they may be mistaken. But for the most part, they call it as they see it.

Unfortunately, on occasion, a police officer appears to be predisposed to making a DUI arrest when none is justified. This may occur due to past encounters between the accused and the officer, a long standing personal history, racial animus or any of the other reasons that some people in power abuse it.

There are numerous opportunities for a dishonest cop to exaggerate, distort and even fabricate evidence and observations. In many cases, it comes down to the word of the accused versus the officer.

The officer has two advantages: First of all, he carries a badge. The other is that he, unlike the person arrested, the assumption is that he has no dog in the hunt, in other words, he is neutral.

Close examination of a DUI arrest shows the stages at which evidence is gathered and can be manipulated. The police must have some reason to come into contact with a driver in the first place, unless there is a roadblock/safety check, in which case specific safeguards must be in place in terms of the timing and execution of the roadblock.

Police may also stop a driver based upon an anonymous tip provided they can prove to the judge that the tipster was “reliable”. People. v. Hansen, 2012 Il. App (4th) 110603 Another encounter can occur when the police are executing a “community caretaker function” such as helping a driver with a flat tire.

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There are six categories of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Illinois. 625 ILCS 5/11-501 These include driving under the influence of legally prescribed drugs, driving under the influence of any compound that causes driving impairment (“huffing”), driving with any amount of an illegal substance in your system, even if you are not under the influence and driving with a combination of the above so that it causes impairment.

But by far the most common type of DUI arrest in Illinois involves alcohol. Under the alcohol category are two kinds of DUI.

One is DUI that causes bad driving, proven by the officer’s observations and your performance on standardized field sobriety tests (SFTS). The other is driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, which does not require proof of actual impaired driving due to alcohol.

There is one type of breath test device that provides what is knowns as a “Preliminary Breath Test” (PBT). It is a small, handheld device that the users blows into.

The results of the PBT cannot be used as evidence of your blood alcohol content (BAL) or to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your BAL was .08 or higher. 625 ILCS 5/11051.5 Before the police can arrest a driver for DUI, they must establish probable cause that the driver is under the influence.

The tools available to the police for maklng this determination include standardized field sobriety tests which includes the horizontal gaze nystagimus (HGN) where the officer passes a small object in front of the subject’s eyes, the one-legged stand (stand on one leg for 30 seconds) and the walk-and-turn (take 9 steps, turn around and take 9 steps back). In addition, the PBT law states that if the officer has reasonable suspicion to believe the person is under the influence, he may request a PBT and consider the results of it in reaching a probable cause determination and in requesting further tests.

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Illinois law prohibits Driving Under the Influence (DUI). 625 ILCS 5/11-501 In terms of alcohol, this prohibition takes two forms.

The first form of Illinois DUI law makes it illegal to drive under the influence. In these types of case, the prosecutor must prove that as a result of consuming alcohol, the accused was impaired in his ability to operate a motor vehicle.

At times, this can be difficult to prove, despite an array of tools that the courts and General Assembly have made available to law enforcement, such as standardized field sobriety tests, the preliminary breath test, the presumption that if you refuse a test, it is evidence of a “guilty mind” and a general relaxation of a defendant’s rights under the United States and Illinois constitutions. Therefore, the DUI laws have been repeatedly altered to stack the deck even further against the defendant.

There is a second type of DUI, known as “per se” because the State does not have to prove that your driving is impaired due to alcohol. it is automatically assumed that you are guilty of DUI if the prosecutor is able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that your blood alcohol content (BAL) was .08 or higher when you were operating a motor vehicle.

There are purported safeguards built into the process to ensure that the machine that calibrates your BAL is accurate and is administered by someone properly certified by the Illinois State Police to do so. 20 Illinois Administrative Code Part 1286. These rules establish the police training, lab procedures, breath test certification and sampling protocol that relate to the breath test.

However, courts have bent over backwards to let in evidence that is not properly documented. Thus, despite the clear requirement that police maintain a log of breath test results, courts have let the police off the hook when the log cannot be produced. People v. Claudio 371 Ill. App. 3d 1067 (2007)

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The offense of Driving Under the Influence is also known as DUI. Illinois DUI law provides that driving under the influence of alcohol is a crime. 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(2) In this type of DUI charge, the prosecutor will attempt to prove that your ability to act with reasonable care is impaired due to the consumption of alcohol.

Just as any competent person is able to do, a police officer can give opinion testimony about intoxication. This includes physical manifestations of intoxication, such as slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, poor balance, difficulty following directions and saying the same thing, or asking the same question, repeatedly.

Non physical manifestations of intoxication include extreme moods (crying or argumentative), confusion as to current location, destination, time and day, disheveled appearance (clothing messed up) and difficulty performing basic tasks such as locating and or removing a driver’s license, insurance card or proof of registration.

Furthermore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) training manual for DWI detection identifies twenty cues of intoxication that police are trained to know. The most common cue is an overly wide turn.

NHTSA has also devised a set of three standardized tests that, according to NHTSA, are designed to demonstrate that a subject is over the legal limit for safe driving. These are known as the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST).

The first test administered is the Horizontal Gaze Nystagumus (HGN). In this test, the officer administering the test waves a pencil in front of your eyes. The reaction of your eyes supposedly gives clues as to whether you are intoxicated. As is the case with all the SFST, the results of the HGN are based upon the officer’s subjective interpretation of the tests.

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Under Illinois DUI driver’s licensing law, there are two types of situations in which the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) may come into play. Both scenarios involve the same device, namely, a machine that is wired into the ignition of your vehicle, which will not start until you blow into a tube and register a blood alcohol level in an acceptable range.

Both circumstances in which the IID is involved have a name. One is the Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) and the other is the Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID).

A driver’s license suspension is a temporary “pause” in the validity of your driver’s license. Once the pause period ends, your right to drive will be restored unless it is otherwise invalid.

A revocation invalidates your license. You must have an administrative hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State and prove you are entitled to restoration of your privilege to drive before. 625 ILCS 5/6-205

During a DUI arrest, the police will ask you to submit to a chemical test (blood or breath) to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). A refusal to submit to the chemical test, or taking the chemical test and registering at least .08, results in a driver’s license suspension. This suspension will be between six months and three years depending upon whether you blow and upon whether you have had a DUI in the prior five years. 625 ILCS 5/6-208.1

If you have had a DUI arrest in the prior five years, you may not obtain a permit to drive. If you have not had a DUI in the previous five years, you are eligible for an MDDP. 625 ILCS 5/6-208.1 Each time you start the vehicle, and while you are driving, you must blow into a tube.

If you blow too high, the car will not start. In addition, high readings are recorded and electronically sent to the Secretary of State BAIID division.

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