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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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A suburban Chicago woman was arrested for Driving Under the Influence, also known as DUI, DWI or drunk driving. She was just coming off a previous DUI and told police she out celebrating the fact her Illinois driver’s license suspension had just ended.

The DUI arrest for which she had just completed a suspension occurred in 2012. Since news reports indicated she was driving under a permit that required the installation of an Interlock device, the 2012 offense would have to have been her only offense in the past five years.

A DUI “suspension” relates to the consequences of either taking a blood or breath test and registering .08 or greater, or refusing to take any test. A suspension is for a specific period of time and ends automatically without an administrative hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State.

Suspensions are for different lengths. How long depends upon whether there was a test and upon whether the accused is a “first offender’ under the statutory summary suspension law. As defined by that law, a first offender is someone who has not had a DUI arrest in the prior five years. 625 ILCS 5/11-500

Therefore, her suspension, which started 46 days after the arrest if she tested, would have been for 6 months, or 12 months if she refused. Had she been a non-first offender, or in other words, had a DUI arrest in the last five years, her suspension would have been for 1 year or 3 years, depending upon whether she tested.

Only first offenders are allowed to drive during a suspension. The permit that allows them to do so is known as a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). 625 ILCS 5/6-206.1 The MDDP forbids an offender from operating a vehicle that does not have an Interlock device installed.

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A charge of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) may arise after the consumption of alcohol or drugs, both legal and illegal. Alcohol impairment is established with a BAC reading of .08 or higher.

It can also be proven through Standardized Field Sobriety Tests that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims will demonstrate impairment equivalent to a BAC level of no lower than .08. Finally, a DUI conviction can be sustained by evidence of the driver’s actions (difficulty locating documentation such as your driver’s license, insurance card and registration); poor driving (improper lane usage being the most common of the top twenty “markers” of alcohol impairment); conduct (crying, argumentative, confused, repeating yourself); and physical characteristics (slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, poor balance).

The government may charge you with DUI even if you are taking prescribed medications in the proper amount. Taking medications is not automatically illegal. But if the evidence shows that the medications impaired your driving, you could be convicted of DUI.

Illegal drug impairment requires a different analysis. It is illegal to drive with “any amount’ of an illegal drug in your “blood, breath or urine”. 625 ILCS 5/11-501
With the recent United States Supreme Court decision in McNeely vs. Missouri, if you do not consent to a blood or urine test, the police would most likely be required to obtain a search warrant. The warrant would issue only upon a showing of probable cause to believe you are under the influence of a drug that can be detected in your blood or urine.

In a similar manner, the police can charge you with DUI drugs if they have evidence that you are actually under the influence, even if they lack a blood or breath test. As is the case with a request for a search warrant for a blood test, the issue will come down to the street cop having to present evidence that you are impaired and, more importantly, that your impairment is due to drugs.

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The United States Supreme Court, in a case known as McNeely v. Missouri, issued an important decision related to Driving Under the Influence, or DUI, and search warrants. The Court decided that in most cases, before the police can force a DUI suspect to give blood, they must obtain a search warrant.

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. It further states that no search warrant shall issue without probable cause.

In essence, the government cannot search you or your home without a warrant issued by a judge. The judge should not issue the warrant unless the police provide evidence to the judge that there is some good reason to approve the warrant and authorize a search.

There are many exceptions to the warrant requirement. A number of the exceptions apply to motor vehicle stops, including DUI arrests.

Exceptions to the warrant requirement include searches made during an arrest (police can pat you down for weapons in the process of an arrest) and searches in which the police are already in legitimate contact with you and observe something “in plain view” (stopped for a traffic ticket; during the stop, the police see an open container on the floorboard). In addition, searches done with your consent (do you mind if I search your trunk? No go right ahead) and “stop and frisk” searches (officer observes what appears to be a street corner drug transaction and approaches the suspect to question him and then pats him down for weapons) do not require a warrant.

Another exception applies to emergency situations, where the evidence can be easily moved, destroyed or otherwise made to disappear before a warrant can be issued (drugs flushed down the toilet). This exception was pertinent to the McNeely decision.

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A charge of Driving Under the Influence, or DUI, will lead to a loss of driving privileges if the driver is convicted. 625 ILCS 5/6-205(a)(2) This includes convictions arising from a DUI committed in another state while the driver holds an Illinois driver’s license or is a resident of Illinois. 625 ILCS 5/6-206(a)(6)

A DUI offense that results in someone being killed also requires a driver’s license revocation. Unlike a standard DUI, for which the revocation is one year for a first conviction, five years for a second conviction that occurs within 20 years of a first conviction and ten years for a third conviction, a DUI involving death requires a revocation for a period of two years after the Secretary of State records the conviction or the offender’s release from incarceration, whichever is later.

Thus, for instance, if the offender is convicted and sentenced to prison for 10 years, he would not be eligible to apply for a license until he had been out of prison for two more years. In effect, he would be revoked for 12 years. In effect, then, a DUI involving a death has a revocation for a period of time that can only be determined after a sentence is imposed.

Your license may also be revoked in one instance in which you are involved in a crash and charged with DUI even though you are never convicted of DUI. Your license is subject to suspension in a situation in which you are never even charged with DUI but are asked to provide a blood or breath sample. Finally, if you are at-fault in a crash where someone dies, your license must be revoked if you are convicted of any moving traffic violation.

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The charge of driving under the influence, or DUI, carries with it criminal penalties as well as consequences on a driver’s license. While a first DUI is serious and a second is more so, it only gets worse when you have a prior conviction for reckless homicide in connection with the operation of a motor vehicle on your record.

For years, a DUI that resulted in death was charged under the Criminal Code (720 ILCS 5/9-3) as reckless homicide in the operation of a motor vehicle. The law as written assumed that if you were under the influence of alcohol and you killed someone, your conduct was reckless.

In People v. Pomykala, 203 Ill. 2d 198, 784 N.E.2d 784, 271 Ill. Dec. 230 (2003), the Illinois Supreme Court held that this presumption violated the constitution by improperly shifting the burden to the defendant of proving that he was not guilty. This was the second occasion on which the Supreme Court had ruled the statute was unconstitutional.

In response, the Illinois General Assembly created a new category of DUI offenses known as aggravated DUI. One form of aggravated DUI involves a DUI committed during which one or more people die. 625 ILCS 11-501(d)

Prosecutors in McHenry County Illinois recently charged a driver who had served 12 years in prison for reckless homicide, for which he was currently on parole, with a DUI offense. The allegation, as yet unproven, is that the driver was under the influence of prescription medication.

The DUI law has six categories of driving under the influence. The first is driving with an alcohol concentration of .08 or greater. Category number two is driving under the influence (used when there is no evidence of an alcohol concentration).

A third category of DUI is driving under the influence of intoxicating compounds to an extent that it renders you incapable of driving safely. If they influence your driving, you may be charged with DUI. Examples would be sniffing glue or “huffing” gases.

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Even a first time charge of DUI (Driving Under the Influence) that results in a conviction can have serious consequences. For one thing, there are criminal considerations.

A first conviction for DUI is a Class-A misdemeanor unless there are aggravating circumstances. A Class-A misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500.00 and or up to 364 days in the county jail. 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-55
However, if your driving record is otherwise relatively clean of accidents, serious tickets such as driving without a license, or leaving the scene or reckless driving, to name a few, most counties and most judges will not ask for substantial jail time if any. It may be different if there was an accident that involved injuries and it will be a felony is someone was killed.

Even if you avoid jail time, a DUI conviction requires the Illinois Secretary of State to revoke your driver’s license for one year for a first time conviction. 625 ILCS 5/6-205 and 6-208 Following the conviction, you must have a driver’s license reinstatement hearing.

Before you can attend such a hearing, you must wait out any hard time on your statutory summary suspension. Once that time has passed, you will need to obtain a Drug and Alcohol Evaluation Uniform Report completed on a form developed jointly by the Secretary of State, the Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse (DASA) and the court system.

The form itself is a computer program. Based upon your driving record, your other alcohol and drug related criminal history and information you provide at an interview with a drug and alcohol evaluator, the program generates a risk classification level for you.

Assuming this is the first DUI arrest you have ever had, your risk level could be minimal, moderate, significant or high. Minimal risk offenders are those who take a breath test, register under .15 and have no abuse or dependency symptoms.

You must complete a 10-hour Driver Risk Education (DRE) course. The purpose of this is to teach you about the dangers of drinking and driving and how to avoid doing so.

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In many instances, an Illinois driving under the influence, or DUI is won or lost based upon the trier of fact (the judge or jury) receiving the results of a breath test. By way of background, there are two types of breath tests that a driver suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) will face.

At the roadside, the police will first administer a series of standardized field sobriety tests. These are physical tests that purportedly correlate with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least .08.

A BAC of .08 is the minimum level at which the law assumes you are under the influence of alcohol. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.2 This figure represents how much alcohol has entered your bloodstream, the point at which alcohol negatively effects those parts of the brain that regulate skills related to driving, such as vision, judgment and reaction time.

Furthermore, at the roadside, the officer will also ask you to blow into a handheld device. This is known as a preliminary breath test (PBT). The results of this test are not evidence of your BAC but are merely a tool to help the police determine whether to arrest you for DUI. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.5
Following the arrest for DUI, the police will ask you to submit to a chemical test to determine your BAC. The chemical test is the “official” test, as the results of it are admissible to prove your BAC, Unlike the field sobriety tests, the chemical tests are considered direct evidence of your blood alcohol content.

The chemical test is usually administered at the police station, although there are certain testing machines that are certified for use in the field. Unlike the PBT devices, these machines, as well as any machines that produce “official” results, are subject to certain certification requirements. Likewise, the operator of the machines must be certified and the method of administering the tests is also regulated by law. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.2

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Illinois law currently provides that if you are arrested for DUI, your driver’s license may be suspended under the statutory summary suspension (SSS) laws. A suspension, which is a temporary invalidation of your driving privileges for a specified period of time, occurs in conjunction with a request by the arresting officer to take a chemical test, either a breath test or a blood test.

There is a different breath test, the preliminary breath test (PBT), that the officer will usually ask you to take at the arrest scene. Your taking or refusing to take this test has no bearing upon whether you are considered to have refused the test that determines the length of an SSS. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.5 Your response to the request to take the test at the police station is the one that counts, as it is the “chemical test”.

Likewise with blood tests, which are usually used when there is a crash or the officer suspects drugs. At the hospital, the emergency room personnel will ordinarily draw blood for the purpose of rendering treatment. This is known as a “medical draw”.

Later, a police officer will request a separate blood draw for his DUI kit. If you have had a medical draw but refuse the officer’s request for a blood kit draw, you are considered to have refused testing, even though the results of the medical draw can be used against you in the DUI case. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.4.

As shown by the varying scenarios with “refusal”, often with the law what seems obvious is not always so. And so it goes with “first offender”, another term that is relevant in determining the duration of a SSS.

In the context of SSS, a “first offender” is determined by looking back five years. If there is no DUI in the past 5 years, the offender is a first offender, even if there are older offenses. 625 ILCS 5/11-500

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