Articles Posted in DUI

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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DUI convictions can have lasting consequences that impact aspects of their life long after the matter is resolved. For example, in prior years, an immigrant could be deported for DUI offenses. While the law has since changed, the ramifications of prior DUIs may still be felt in certain instances, as demonstrated by a recent Supreme Court ruling in which the Court upheld the removal of an individual who had previously been deported due to a DUI conviction. If you are accused of a DUI offense, it is prudent to speak to a trusted Illinois DUI lawyer regarding your potential defenses.

The Supreme Court Ruling

It is reported that the defendant gained permanent residency in 1990 but was deported in 1998 due to a DUI conviction in 1991. The defendant re-entered the country without authorization at some point and remained here until 2017, when he was taken into custody and indicted for unlawful reentry, a charge that would result in him being deported once again.

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Typically, DUI arrests arise out of traffic stops instigated because of suspicion of drunk driving. While people usually pull over when they are followed by a police car with activated lights or sirens, some do not notice that they are being pursued by an officer and keep driving. Although the police are permitted to pursue fleeing suspects, in cases involving misdemeanors, there are limitations to what measures they can take to apprehend them. This was affirmed by the United States Supreme Court in a recent ruling issued in a DUI case in which the court found that the hot pursuit exception did not provide an automatic right to search a misdemeanor suspect’s home. If you are charged with a DUI crime, it is in your best interest to consult a dedicated Illinois DUI lawyer to examine your rights.

The Supreme Court Ruling

Allegedly, the defendant was honking his horn and playing loud music while he was driving. He drove past a police officer, who began following him. The officer eventually activated his overhead lights in an effort to get the defendant to pull over. The defendant continued to drive, however, and ultimately pulled into his driveway and then garage. The officer interfered with the closing of the defendant’s garage, entered the garage, and began questioning the defendant. He observed that the defendant smelled of alcohol and was exhibiting other signs of intoxication.

Reportedly, the officer then asked the defendant to submit to field sobriety testing. The defendant failed the tests and was arrested for DWI. Subsequent testing revealed his blood-alcohol level to be over three times the legal limit. The defendant filed a motion to suppress the evidence against him on the grounds that it was obtained via a warrantless search in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. Continue reading →

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Illinois is relatively close to the Canadian border, and people from Illinois and other nearby states often move there for work or other reasons but maintain their American citizenship. As in Illinois, driving while intoxicated is illegal in Canada. Recent changes to the Criminal Code of Canada, though, can result in significant penalties for non-citizen residents who are convicted of DUI offenses. If you are accused of a DUI crime in Illinois or elsewhere, it is in your best interest to meet with an experienced Illinois DUI lawyer to discuss your rights.

Changes to the Canadian Law

In December 2018, a new law went into effect in Canada, modifying penalties for DUI offenses. Specifically, it changed certain rules with regard to sentencing in that it increased the maximum penalty for such sentences from five to ten years imprisonment in cases in which the Crown proceeds by indictment. While this change may seem relatively insignificant, it may result in a profound impact on people who live in Canada but are not citizens.

Specifically, under a combination of the new DUI law and a Canadian immigration law, DUI convictions would be considered serious crimes, rendering the defendant ineligible for citizenship in Canada. While the change in the law was solely designed to increase penalties for DUI offenses, it is anticipated that it will have a disproportionate punitive effect on people who are not Canadian citizens. Continue reading →

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A DUI conviction often not only results in criminal penalties but also impairs a person’s job prospects and relationships. While in many states, people convicted for DUI offenses may be eligible to have their records expunged, Illinois is not currently one of them. A new bill seeks to change the law regarding access to DUI records, however, in hopes of offering people in Illinois who were convicted of DUI crimes a chance to move forward without fear of their criminal records being exposed. If you are accused of a DUI offense, it is smart to consult a trusted Illinois DUI lawyer to determine your options for seeking a just outcome.

DUI Legislation Pending in Illinois

Under Illinois law, there are two types of crimes that cannot be expunged: DUI and domestic violence offenses. In other words, if a person was convicted of a DUI crime decades ago, the record will remain and cannot be expunged. There are a handful of other states that have similar laws, including Ohio, Tennessee, Alaska, Idaho, Maine, Kansas, Texas, and Vermont. While it does not appear that Illinois’ expungement laws will be changed anytime in the near future, State Representatives recently introduced legislation that would allow for DUI records to be sealed.

House Bill 3934, which seeks to amend the Criminal Identification Act, was introduced by Representative Tony McCombie with the aim to provide those convicted of DUI crimes with second chances. If the bill passes, the Criminal Identification Act would be modified to allow records related to DUI charges to be sealed if certain criteria are met. Specifically, it must be shown that the person charged with DUI had not previously been placed on supervision due to DUI or convicted of DUI at the time the charges arose and that at least ten years have passed since the person’s sentence was completed. Continue reading →

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Most DUI charges arise out of the use of cars, trucks, and SUVs on public highways. DUI statutes are not always limited to the operation of standard vehicles, though, but often apply to the use of any motor vehicle on a public road. This was demonstrated in a recent Florida ruling, in which a man was charged with DUI manslaughter after a crash that occurred when he was operating an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) on a highway with a blood alcohol level that was over the legal limit. In many states, including Illinois, the laws are similar, and a person can be charged for operating an ATV while intoxicated. If you are charged with a DUI crime, it is advisable to meet with a knowledgeable Illinois DUI defense lawyer to assess your potential defenses.

The Florida DUI Conviction Arising Out of ATV Use

Reportedly, a Florida appellate court recently upheld the DUI manslaughter conviction of a man whose son died following an accident involving an ATV. It appears that the man was riding an ATV on a public road with his minor son on the back when it fell into a ditch. The man was able to return the ATV to an upright position, and he and his son were sitting on the ATV when it was struck by another motorist. The man suffered injuries in the collision, and his son tragically died.

Allegedly, testing revealed that the man’s blood alcohol level exceeded the legal limit. He was subsequently charged with DUI with property damage and DUI manslaughter. During the trial, the defendant argued that there was inadequate evidence to show that he was physically in control of the ATV at the time of the accident, but he was convicted as charged. He appealed; however, his convictions were affirmed on appeal. Continue reading →

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