While most drivers aim to avoid DUI arrests, one Illinois man sought to impose liability on the police for neglecting to detain him for DUI. Specifically, in a novel argument, he asserted that the failure to arrest him caused him to suffer subsequent harm. The courts were not persuaded by the driver’s reasoning and ultimately dismissed his case, definitely stating that the driver could not impose liability on other parties for harm caused by his own criminal acts. If you are charged with an Illinois DUI offense, you should contact an Illinois DUI defense lawyer to discuss your potential defenses.
The Facts of the Case
According to court documents, the plaintiff became intoxicated at a friend’s house and then attempted to drive to his home. He subsequently rear-ended a car stopped at a red light. An officer was dispatched to the scene and spoke to the other driver, who reported he saw the plaintiff’s SUV swerving. The officer spoke to the plaintiff as well and asked for his license and proof of insurance. The plaintiff gave the officer the wrong paperwork numerous times and provided several different answers when asked where he lived. The officer, whose sense of smell was compromised, did not notice an odor of alcohol.
It is reported that the officer ultimately urged the plaintiff to pay more attention. The plaintiff drove away, fell asleep behind the wheel, and crashed his vehicle twenty minutes later. Chemical testing revealed that he had a blood-alcohol level that was three times the legal limit. He suffered multiple injuries that required surgical repair. He subsequently sued the officer and the municipality that employed the officer for negligence, arguing that the officer’s failure to arrest him led to his subsequent harm. Continue reading →
While the connection between DUI crimes and infrastructure seems tenuous at best, they are related in some respect. For example, in Missouri, a law that, in theory, increases the likelihood of DUI offenses triggered a shift of government funds from highway construction and repair to safety, resulting in a reduction in fatalities. Specifically, under Missouri law, it is not illegal to have open containers of alcohol in a vehicle. It is illegal under federal law, though, and the conflict has caused the subsequent diversion of funds. While the Missouri law has no impact in Illinois, it is relevant to the question of how the modification of laws relating to DUI crimes impacts other facets of the state government. If you are faced with charges that you committed a DUI crime in Illinois, it is wise to contact an Illinois DUI defense lawyer to determine your rights.
The Ramifications of Missouri’s Open Container Laws
Missouri differs from many states in that it has not criminalized the act of driving a car with an open container of alcohol in the passenger area. While it is lawful to have open alcoholic beverages in a car under Missouri law, it violates federal safety statutes. As such, since 2001, a substantial portion of federal funds that would typically be used for highway construction and repairs have been diverted to safety programs. In total, approximately $370 million in funds have been reallocated.
While many people would expect that Missouri’s lack of an open container law would lead to increased DUI-related fatalities, the opposite seems to be true. In fact, while the national rate of motor vehicle fatalities fell by 14% between 2001 and 2019, Missouri’s rate of traffic fatalities fell by 20% during the same period. Continue reading →
It is well-established that the police must either obtain a warrant or consent to conduct a blood test on a person suspected of DUI. Thus, the results of a warrantless blood test that was administered without a defendant’s knowing consent may be suppressed. In some instances, though, the prosecution will attempt to obtain the results of a medical blood draw via a subpoena to use as evidence against a DUI defendant. Whether they should be permitted to do so was the question recently presented to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. While the ruling will have no bearing on Illinois law, it may illustrate how courts throughout the country will resolve the issue in the coming years. If you are charged with a DUI offense in Illinois, it is advisable to speak to an Illinois DUI defense lawyer regarding your potential defenses.
The Wisconsin Case
It is alleged that the Wisconsin Supreme Court recently evaluated the question of whether prosecutors can use subpoenas to obtain the results of blood tests they believe will establish guilt in a DUI case if a warrantless blood draw taken the same night was barred from admission into evidence. In the subject case, the defendant crashed into a building and tree. An officer found him in a yard near the accident and noted that he smelled of alcohol. He was taken to the hospital, where his blood was drawn for diagnostic purposes.
Reportedly, the defendant was arrested for DUI, and the officer took a sample of his blood without a warrant, arguing exigent circumstances required such testing. The results of the police’s blood test were suppressed via a motion. Prosecutors later issued a subpoena seeking the defendant’s medical records from the hospital. At issue is whether the medical records should be considered fruit from a poisonous tree, or as the prosecution asserted, they come from a different plant than the results of the police test. Continue reading →
In recent years, legislators, MADD, and other interested parties have pushed for legislation mandating that all new vehicles come equipped with alcohol detection systems that prevent people from driving while intoxicated. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act recently passed by the United States House of Representatives included an Advanced Impaired Driving Technology provision that MADD hailed as the single most important piece of legislation passed in the forty-one years the organization has been in existence. While no one denies the dangers of driving while intoxicated, compulsory alcohol sensors arguably violate people’s rights and could potentially create a host of other issues. If you are charged with a DUI offense in Illinois, it is in your best interest to speak to an Illinois DUI defense lawyer to discuss your rights.
The Advanced Impaired Driving Technology
It is reported that the Advanced Impaired Driving Technology portion of the bill sets forth a standard that MADD anticipates will prevent close to 10,000 drunk driving deaths each year. Further, MADD’s President asserted that the bill will essentially eliminate the leading cause of death on roads throughout the country. She argued that technology is necessary to stop the dangerous driving tactics of people who fail to make the right choice.
Allegedly, the bill orders the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to begin a rulemaking process and within three years, establish the standard for impaired driving safety equipment on all new vehicles. It is expected that NHTSA will assess technology that may include, among other things, alcohol detection systems that employ sensors to assess whether a driver is intoxicated and if so, prevent their vehicle from moving. Once the safety standard is established, car manufacturers will have two to three years to implement it. Continue reading →
In certain cases in which a person is convicted of DUI, the courts will order the person to install an ignition interlock device in their car. Typically, the courts will issue such orders in cases involving repeat offenders. The proponents of such devices typically argue that while their installation infringes on certain liberties, it is necessary to do so to mitigate the risk of harm the person poses to other members of society. In recent years, though, various parties throughout the country have pushed for the installation of alcohol sensing devices in all vehicles. While such efforts have yet to be successful, should such technology be mandatory in cars in the future, it may have a significant impact on driver’s rights and the prosecution of DUI cases. If you are accused of a DUI crime in Illinois, it is prudent to consult an Illinois DUI defense lawyer regarding your options for seeking a favorable outcome.
Built-In Alcohol Sensing Technology
It is alleged that researchers recently stated they had created alcohol detection sensors that would essentially eliminatedrunk driving. While the technology is still in developmental stages, it is anticipated that it will be ready to be installed in vehicles throughout the country in a few years. The developers are currently in the process of licensing the sensors. Meanwhile, legislation that would make the installation of alcohol sensors mandatory in all new passenger vehicles is before Congress.
Reportedly, the technology, which was developed by a Boston company, collects measurements with little human interaction. One device captures a driver’s breath and pulls it into a sensor, where a beam of light then calculates the driver’s blood alcohol concentration. A second device employs lasers to read the alcohol level below the surface of the skin on the driver’s finger. If the driver’s blood-alcohol level exceeds the legal limit, they will not be able to drive. Continue reading →
People typically know that they can be charged with DUI crimes for driving while intoxicated, but they are often surprised to learn that they may face charges for simply sitting in their cars while under the influence of alcohol. While the law in most states allows for such charges, a woman in New Mexico recently filed a civil lawsuit alleging that that police violated her rights when they entered her garage and charged her with a DUI crime when she was simply sitting in a parked car. The court ultimately agreed with the defendant and threw out the criminal charges against her, but it remains to be seen whether her civil suit will be successful. Regardless of the outcome, it raises important concerns regarding the privacy rights of DUI defendants in Illinois and throughout the country. If you are accused of a DUI crime, it is smart to contact an Illinois DUI defense attorney to determine your rights.
The Defendant’s Criminal and Civil Cases
It is alleged that police in Rio Rancho, New Mexico received a call from a woman who stated that she got into a verbal altercation with the defendant at a gas station. The woman advised the police that the defendant smelled of alcohol and provided the police with the defendant’s license plate number. The police then tracked down the defendant at her residence. When they arrived, they entered her garage, where she was sitting in her parked car.
Reportedly, the defendant submitted to numerous field sobriety tests, which she failed, and she was arrested and charged with DWI and other crimes. The court ultimately dismissed the charges against her, finding that the entry into her garage was unlawful. She subsequently filed a civil lawsuit against the police, seeking damages for the violation of her privacy rights. Continue reading →
It is well-acknowledged that driving while intoxicated poses a significant risk of harm to other people. As such, it is Illegal in Illinois. There are no laws barring people from driving while they are dehydrated, and despite the seemingly absurd notion that there should be, a recent article suggests that dehydrated drivers are as dangerous as drunk drivers. While the article does not have any legal implications, it does trigger the question of whether some people stopped for suspicion of DUI show signs of impairment for other reasons. If you are charged with a DUI offense, it is in your best interest to consult an experienced Illinois DUI defense lawyer to discuss what defenses you may be able to assert.
The Impact of Dehydration on Drivers
Reportedly, a study conducted in 2021 in the United Kingdom showed that even slight cases of dehydration were equivalent to driving while intoxicated. In other words, motorists who are mildly dehydrated show a substantial increase in small driving errors during long trips as opposed to drivers who are adequately hydrated. The magnitude of impairment caused by dehydration was the same as that experienced by drivers that had consumed a sufficient amount of alcohol to achieve a blood alcohol level of 0.08%. Specifically, losing even a small amount of water causes a decreased capacity to adequately perform tasks that require quick decisions, concentration, and motor skills and produces symptoms such as dizziness, tiredness, and loss of focus.
Grounds for DUI Charges in Illinois
In Illinois, there are multiple grounds for charging a person with a DUI crime. For example, a person may face DUI charges for being in physical control of a vehicle while their blood alcohol level is 0.08% or higher. Notably, “physical control” may include acts other than driving, like starting a vehicle or sleeping in a parked car with the engine running. Continue reading →
People accused of committing DUI offenses, like all criminal defendants, are afforded numerous rights under the United States Constitution. For example, under the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment, they have the right to examine their accusers at trial. If the State violates a criminal defendant’s Constitutional rights, the violation may constitute grounds for an appeal. The question of whether the use of two-way video conferencing violated the rights granted under the Confrontation Clause was the topic of a recent ruling issued in Montana. While the opinion does not impact the prosecution of DUI cases in Illinois, it provides insight into how courts may rule on similar issues. If you are accused of a DUI crime, it is smart to meet with an Illinois DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your rights.
The Montana Case
It is reported that the defendant was stopped by the police for suspicion of a DUI. He was subsequently arrested and charged with DUI. The case proceeded to trial before a jury. The arresting officer was not present in the courtroom during the trial but appeared via two-way video. The jury convicted the defendant, and he appealed, arguing, in part, that the court violated his right to confrontation by permitting the officer to testify through two-way video conferencing instead of appearing in court in person.
The court agreed, noting that in criminal prosecutions, defendants have the right to meet the State’s witnesses face to face and to fully examine them. The court elaborated that confrontation ensures that the evidence offered against a defendant is reliable. Thus, pursuant to Montana’s confrontation clause, witnesses may only testify via two-way video when securing the witness’ presence is impossible or impractical. The court ultimately found that the State failed to prove that the use of two-way video was warranted. As such, it reversed the defendant’s conviction. Continue reading →
In any criminal matter, the prosecution bears the burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, each element of the underlying offense. Thus, if the government cannot establish the corpus delecti or body of the crime, it should not be able to obtain a conviction. An Illinois appellate court recently discussed the concept of corpus delecti in a case in which it reversed the defendant’s DUI conviction. If you are faced with charges, you committed a DUI crime, it is important to speak to a Illinois DUI defense lawyer to evaluate what evidence the state must produce to prove your guilt.
The Facts of the Case
Reportedly, the police were dispatched to a courtyard in response to a report of a domestic disturbance. Upon arrival, they found the defendant and two men standing near a car. The defendant indicated she had an argument with her boyfriend and was trying to locate him. She advised the police that she drove the white car to its current location in hopes of finding her boyfriend and then called the police.
Allegedly, when the police spoke with the defendant, they noticed she smelled of alcohol, her eyes were bloodshot, and her speech was slurred. Thus, they administered field sobriety tests. Based on the defendant’s performance on the tests, they arrested her and charged her with DUI. The trial court found her guilty, and she appealed, arguing that the prosecution failed to offer proof of corpus delecti. Continue reading →