Articles Posted in DUI

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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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While in many states, the use of marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes is legal, a person may nonetheless be charged with a DUI for operating a vehicle while impaired because of the use of marijuana. The police must have grounds to arrest a person for a DUI, though, and it is unlikely that mere possession of marijuana is sufficient. This was demonstrated recently in Houston, where a driver admitted to possessing marijuana when he was pulled over for speeding tragically collided with another vehicle after he was stopped, killing a mother and three children. If you are charged with a DUI crime, it is smart to speak to a dedicated Illinois DUI defense attorney regarding your rights.

The Texas Accident

It is reported that a man in Houston was stopped by a police officer for speeding. The officer stated that during the traffic stop, he did not observe any visible signs of impairment. The driver did admit that he had marijuana, however, which he surrendered to the officer. Thirty minutes after he was stopped, he rear-ended a car at a high rate of speed. The woman in the car and her three children ultimately died due to injuries suffered in the accident. The driver was arrested, but it is unclear what charges he is facing. Authorities are reportedly testing the small amount of marijuana he relinquished, and the driver may face criminal charges pending the outcome of the testing.

Illinois DUI Charges Related to Marijuana Use

In Illinois, it is legal to use marijuana for recreational purposes. That does not mean, though, that there are no restrictions regarding its use. First, only adults are legally permitted to ingest marijuana for recreational use. Additionally, people who use marijuana and then drive may be charged with DUI crimes. Specifically, under Illinois’ DUI statute, it is unlawful to operate a vehicle while impaired due to the use of marijuana, and people who do so may face DUI charges. Continue reading →

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If the police stop a person for suspicion of DUI, they must establish that the search is lawful; otherwise, any evidence arising out of the search may be deemed inadmissible. In other words, the State must demonstrate that the police had reasonable suspicion that a person is under the influence prior to effectuating a stop. While typically DUI charges arise out stop to investigate erratic driving, some are the result of DUI checkpoints. Whether such a stop constitutes a reasonable search and seizure was the topic of a recent North Carolina ruling, in which the court ultimately found the stop to be illegal. If you are accused of a DUI crime arising out of a DUI checkpoint, it is in your best interest to confer with a trusted Illinois DUI defense attorney about your potential defenses.

The North Carolina Ruling

It is reported that the defendant was stopped at a DUI checkpoint in a town in North Carolina. The investigating officer smelled alcohol on the defendant’s breath, and she admitted to consuming two shots of alcohol. She submitted to field sobriety testing, which she failed, and a breathalyzer test, which resulted in a BAC of 0.11%. She was charged with DUI. Her attorney filed a motion to suppress the evidence obtained during the stop, arguing it was unlawful, but the motion was denied.

Allegedly, the defendant appealed, and on appeal, the court ruled in her favor. Specifically, it found that the trial court had not evaluated whether the arrest met the three standards established by the State Supreme Court to determine if the arrest was constitutional: the weight of the public interest; the degree to which the arrest advances the public interest, and the severity of its interference with personal liberty. Continue reading →

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Judges and prosecutors have distinct roles in the criminal justice system, and generally, they refrain from exercising powers outside of the scope of their authority. If they do overstep their bounds, however, it may lead to unexpected outcomes. For example, a prosecutor in North Dakota recently sued a judge, arguing that the judge violated the separation of powers by refusing to approve a plea deal that would have ignored one of the defendant’s prior DUI convictions. The lawsuit, which alleges that defendants convicted of fourth DUIs are subject to less stringent penalties than those convicted of third DUIs, seeks to remedy a perceived injustice. If you are charged with a third or subsequent DUI offense, it is smart to meet with a knowledgeable Illinois DUI defense attorney to assess your rights.

The North Dakota Case

It is reported that the North Dakota legislature recently increased the penalties for repeat DUI offenders. Specifically, a person convicted of a third DUI, which is a class A misdemeanor, faces a 120-day jail sentence, while a person convicted of a fourth DUI crime, which is a Class C felony, may be imprisoned for one year and one day. The prosecutor alleges that, essentially, sentences for fourth DUIs are paper penalties, in that parties convicted of such offenses spend significantly less time in prison than those convicted of lesser crimes.

Allegedly, the prosecutor attempted to subvert the sentencing deficiencies by entering into a plea agreement with a defendant that would have reduced the number of the defendant’s prior DUI convictions, which would have resulted in a lesser sentence on paper but arguably more time in prison. When the judge refused to adopt the plea agreement, the prosecution filed suit, arguing the judge violated the separation of powers. Continue reading →

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When people think of DUI crimes, they usually contemplate a person charged with an offense after being caught driving a car, truck, or SUV while intoxicated. In many states, though, a person can be charged with a DUI crime for operating any motorized vehicle. This was demonstrated recently in Kansas, where a man was charged with a DUI offense after operating a lawnmower while impaired due to alcohol. If you are accused of a DUI crime, it is advisable to speak to a trusted Illinois DUI defense attorney to determine your rights.

The Kansas Arrest

It is reported that police officers in Shawnee County, Kansas, pulled over a man who was driving down the shoulder of a highway. When they spoke to the man, his demeanor led them to suspect that he was intoxicated. The police administered field sobriety tests to the man, which he failed. He was then arrested and charged with DUI. While the crime was not novel, the man’s choice of vehicle was, as he was operating a lawnmower. In Kansas, though, a DUI offense can arise out of the operation of any motor vehicle while intoxicated.

DUI Offenses in Illinois

Illinois is similar to Kansas in that a person need not be driving a car to be charged with a DUI offense. Specifically, the DUI law prohibits a person from driving or being in actual physical control of any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Notably, the statute does not limit the term “vehicle” to a car, SUV, or any other automobile that is typically operated on public streets.

Continue reading →

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