Articles Posted in DUI

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The circumstances surrounding some DUI accidents are so tragic that it seems axiomatic that the person who allegedly drove while intoxicated will be convicted of numerous crimes. People are not convicted via the court of public opinion, however, and the State must meet a high burden of proof in order to obtain a guilty verdict. For example, reports indicate that a New York man drove while intoxicated, killing a woman who was walking home, but the state must nonetheless establish the man’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are accused of causing a fatal DUI collision, it is essential to speak to an Illinois DUI defense lawyer about your potential defenses as soon as possible.

The Fatal Accident

It is reported that a young New York woman suffered fatal injuries after she was struck by a hit-and-run driver. In an unexpected turn of events, the person suspected of hitting her is a coworker she had been drinking with her earlier in the night. The woman refused to ride with the coworker and chose to walk home instead. The driver reportedly hit her with his car and continued driving before being involved in another crash shortly after. His car caught fire, and he was pulled out before police arrived.

It is alleged that the woman’s body was discovered over six hours later, and she was pronounced dead at the scene. The state charged the driver with multiple felonies, including vehicular manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter, and leaving the scene of a fatal accident. He entered a not-guilty plea. Continue reading →

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People convicted of drunk driving offenses often lose their driving privileges for a period of time. While a license suspension is inconvenient for many people, for some, it may cost them their livelihood. The Pennsylvania legislature is contemplating rectifying that harm by introducing a bill that would allow commercial drivers convicted of DUI offenses to have their CDL reinstated after ten years instead of imposing a lifetime ban. While no such legislation has been proposed in Illinois, the Pennsylvania bill could be a sign of changes to come. If you are accused of driving under the influence and are at risk of losing your CDL, it is smart to consult with an Illinois DUI defense attorney about your potential defenses.

The Proposed Pennsylvania Bill

Reportedly, the bill, known as HB1092, successfully cleared the House Transportation Committee and will now be presented to the full chamber for further consideration. If the bill becomes law, it would enable individuals who have faced lifetime suspensions of their commercial driver’s licenses due to offenses such as drunk driving convictions or other violations to apply for license reinstatement after a period of 10 years from the initiation of their lifetime ban. The application process would involve submitting a certified mail application form, subject to specific requirements.

Allegedly, Pennsylvania has stricter regulations compared to federal laws concerning disqualifications for CDL holders. While federal regulations impose suspension periods ranging from one to three years, Pennsylvania has the authority to impose a lifetime ban for certain offenses. The prime sponsor of the bill, State Representative Carol Hill-Evans, emphasized that while lifetime bans serve a purpose, the proposed bill includes numerous safeguards and necessitates that banned drivers complete reform programs. Certain convictions, such as using a commercial motor vehicle for felony drug-related activities or human trafficking, would render individuals ineligible for CDL restoration. Continue reading →

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The certification and accuracy of the machine used to administer your breath test play a crucial role in the state’s case against you. If it is discovered that the machine used for testing was not properly calibrated or tested, there are arguments to be made that the results of the test should be excluded since their accuracy cannot be verified. When it is revealed that the state is unable to prove the accuracy of a machine used for chemical testing in DUI cases, the implications can be significant and extend beyond individual cases, as illustrated by a recent ruling in Massachusetts, in which the Supreme Court of Massachusetts determined that results from machines that were not properly calibrated over several years were inadmissible. It is estimated that this decision will impact over 27,000 convictions, making it one of the most significant rulings in favor of DUI defendants in recent memory. If you are facing a DUI charge, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a skilled Illinois DUI attorney who can thoroughly analyze the accuracy of any evidence that may be used against you.

The Massachusetts Ruling

It is reported that the highest court in Massachusetts has made a ruling that allows 27,000 individuals who either pleaded guilty or were convicted of drunk driving charges to have another chance. This decision was reached after an investigation in 2019 revealed that breathalyzer testing machines were not properly calibrated, resulting in inaccurate test results. The court found serious misconduct on the part of the government and decided that all tests conducted by the faulty machine between June 2011, and April 2019, should be excluded from criminal prosecutions. Allegedly, as a result of this ruling, individuals who were convicted or pleaded guilty based on breathalyzer evidence can now request to have their pleas withdrawn or ask for a new trial. This situation is drawing parallels to the state lab scandal, where numerous drug cases were dismissed due to evidence tampering by chemists.

Illinois Breathalyzer Standards

Similar to Massachusetts, Illinois has implemented regulations that require the state to follow testing guidelines for any device used to measure blood alcohol levels, ensuring the accuracy of breath test results. If it is proven that the results from a blood or breath test are unreliable, they cannot be used as evidence. Since the state often relies on test results to establish the guilt of a DUI suspect beyond a reasonable doubt, the absence of such test evidence can create challenges for the prosecution. Continue reading →

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In every state except Utah, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for per se DUI crimes is 0.08. Some states, however, recently introduced legislation to lower the BAC limit for per se violations of DUI laws to 0.05. Washington state recently contemplated a measure to reduce the per se DUI limit but the bill ultimately failed. Similar legislation is currently pending in New York as well. While the Illinois legislature has not drafted legislation to lower the BAC limit for DUI offenses, it is possible that such a bill could be introduced in the years to come. If you are faced with Illinois DUI charges, it is wise to contact an Illinois DUI defense lawyer to determine what defenses you may be able to set forth.

The New York Bill

Reportedly, New York State is currently considering a bill that would significantly alter the state’s DUI law. The bill proposes a number of changes, including reducing the (BAC) limit for per se DUI charges from 0.08 to 0.05, which would put New York in line with Utah.  The bill also includes a provision that would lower the BAC limit for aggravated DUI offenses from 0.18 to 0.12.

Proponents of the bill argue that these changes are necessary to improve road safety and reduce the number of DUI-related accidents and fatalities in the state. However, opponents of the bill have raised concerns about the potential impact on civil liberties and due process. Continue reading →

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The criminal statutes in most states provide that drivers can be charged with per se DUI violations if they drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is 0.08 or higher. However, some states have considered lowering the legal limit to reduce DUI accidents. For example, there was a recent push in the Washington legislature to lower the legal limit to 0.05 due to a rise in fatal DUI collisions, but the measure stalled. In Illinois, the legal BAC limit is 0.08, but drivers can face DUI charges even if the State lacks evidence of their BAC. If you are accused of an Illinois DUI offense, it is recommended that you consult an Illinois DUI defense lawyer to evaluate your possible defenses promptly.

The Washington Bill

Allegedly, during the 2023 legislative session, Washington state legislators introduced a bill that aimed to lower the BAC limit for per se DUI charges to 0.05 from the current level of 0.08. Presently, only one other state, Utah, has a legal limit of 0.05. In every other state, including Washington, the BAC limit for per se DUI offenses is 0.08.

The bill to lower failed to pass the senate in time to pass during the 2023 legislative session, however. Supports of the bill noted it was inspired by Utah legislation. After the Utah BAC limit was lowered in 2019, the state saw a reduction in fatal vehicle collisions after lowering its limit in 2019. Continue reading →

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In many states, police officers are required to wear body cameras. Bodycams are generally employed to uphold the integrity of criminal investigations and provide objective evidence. Footage from bodycams can also be used to address allegations of officer misconduct. Generally, such misconduct occurs when the officer is conducting the investigation. As illustrated recently in an Oklahoma case in which an officer was arrested for DUI, bodycams can also capture evidence of misconduct when officers are behind the wheel. If you are charged with a DUI crime in Illinois, it is smart to meet with an experienced Illinois DUI defense lawyer to determine whether bodycam footage or other evidence may be used against you at trial.

The Oklahoma Officer’s Arrest

It is reported that recently-released footage shows a police captain from Oklahoma City being pulled over for suspected drunk driving. In the video, the arresting officer can be seen confronting the captain in his driveway after witnessing him swerve and fail to use turn signals while driving his personal SUV.

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Police officers will often conduct a traffic stop if they believe there is evidence that a motorist is operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Typically, such evidence includes swerving, ignoring traffic laws, and otherwise driving erratically. In some instances, though, an officer may fabricate a reason to conduct a DUI traffic stop. This was illustrated recently in California, where bodycam footage revealed that a police officer lied about the grounds for conducting a stop and the suspect’s behavior during the course of a DUI investigation. If you were arrested for a DUI offense in Illinois without sufficient evidence of wrongdoing, a knowledgeable Illinois DUI defense lawyer can help you explore your options for fighting to avoid a conviction.

The California Investigation

Allegedly, a California court recently found that a veteran police officer who was assigned to the West Traffic Division of Los Angeles was guilty of lying during a DUI investigation that occurred in 2019. The officer faced one felony count each of perjury and filing a false report. Additionally, he has been “assigned home” during an administrative investigation and could face up to four years and eight months in state prison.

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It is not uncommon for people who are found guilty of DUI offenses to lose their license for a period of time. In some states, like Colorado, people only have a short amount of time to appeal the revocation of their license, and if they miss their window, it could be very challenging for them to get their license reinstated. Surprisingly, this is true even if they were not actually convicted of a DUI crime, as one Colorado resident recently learned. If you are charged with a DUI offense in Illinois, it is important to understand what criminal and civil penalties you may face if you are convicted, and you should consult an Illinois DUI defense attorney as soon as possible.

Colorado’s License Revocation Laws

It is reported that a man in Colorado lost his license after DUI charges were filed against him six years ago due to administrative issues. While waiting over six years to have the right to drive reinstated alone with no end in sight would in and of itself be frustrating, the man’s struggles are even more confounding given the fact that he was not actually convicted of any DUI offense. The issue is largely caused by the fact that Colorado views DUI crimes and licensing of drivers as separate matters.

Allegedly, the man’s problems began when he was pulled over in January 2017 for lack of a front license plate; his plate had been stolen three weeks earlier, and he was waiting for a replacement. Although the man did not commit any driving infractions, police suspected he had smoked marijuana. He advised the officers he wanted to speak to his attorney before undergoing chemical testing but made it clear he would comply with their requests. Further, they did not advise him he would automatically lose his license if he did not submit to a blood test. Continue reading →

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In most jurisdictions, intoxicated drivers that cause fatal collisions face stricter penalties than those who are charged with merely driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Pending legislation in West Virginia would not only allow people who cause such accidents to be charged with injury or death while impaired if they cause the death of another driver or passenger but also if their actions result in the loss of an unborn child. While it is unclear if the measure will pass, it may be a sign of changes to come to DUI laws in Illinois and other states. If you are charged with causing a fatal DUI crash in Illinois, it is smart to consult an Illinois DUI defense lawyer to evaluate your options for seeking a favorable outcome.

The West Virginia Bill

It is reported that a Delegate in West Virginia introduced a bill that, if enacted, would recognize unborn children as individual victims in DUI fatalities. The bill apparently has significant support throughout the House. If the bill passes, West Virginia drivers charged with causing injury or death while driving a vehicle while impaired would be charged with additional cries if the accident causes the death or injury of an unborn child being carried by one of the victims of the accident. Those that spoke in support of the bill stated that it was neither a Republican nor Democrat issue but the correct thing to do for ethical and moral reasons.

Illinois Law Regarding Fatal DUI Crashes

Illinois law imposes strict penalties on people that caused fatal crashes driving while intoxicated. Specifically, they can be charged with aggravated DUI, a Class 2 felony that carries a minimum mandatory sentence of three years in prison and a maximum sentence of fourteen years in prison in cases involving the death of one person. The penalties increase in cases involving the death of two or more people, to a minimum of six years and a maximum of twenty-eight years in prison. Continue reading →

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In the vast majority of states, people can be charged with DUI crimes if they operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08. Occasionally, some jurisdictions have contemplated reducing the legal limit in hopes of reducing DUI crimes. Currently, there is a movement in Washington state to lower the legal limit to 0.05 in the wake of an increase in fatal DUI accidents. If you are accused of driving with a blood alcohol level that is over the legal limit in Illinois, it is advisable to meet with an Illinois DUI defense lawyer to discuss the charges against you.

Washington’s Proposed Law

Allegedly, lawmakers in Washington state introduced a bill during the 2023 legislative session that would lower the blood alcohol limit for per se DUI offenses from 0.08 to 0.05. Currently, Utah is the only other state with a legal limit of 0.05; in Washington and every other State in the country, the legal limit is 0.08.

It is reported that one of the state senators sponsoring the bill explained that the impetus behind the movement is a marked increase in fatal DUI crashes throughout the State. In assessing data pertaining to DUI crashes, Washington legislators looked at the benefits Utah experienced after reducing the legal limit for DUI crimes and inferred that similar measures would bring about the same outcomes in Washington. Specifically, Utah experienced a 20% reduction in DUI fatalities since reducing the blood alcohol limit for DUI crimes to 0.05. Continue reading →

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