Articles Posted in DUI

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Individuals convicted of DUI offenses encounter a range of civil and criminal consequences. While the penalties imposed vary by state, they often include the mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices on their vehicles for repeat offenders. Recently, advocates and legislators have indicated that they intend to introduce bills that would require such devices to be installed in vehicles for first-time offenders as well. If you are faced with DUI charges in Illinois, seeking advice from an experienced Illinois DUI defense attorney is prudent, as they can provide insights into potential defenses and navigate the complexities of DUI laws.

The Proposed New Laws

It is alleged that drunk driving activities and policymakers are actively promoting more stringent anti-DUI laws, with a nonprofit organization at the forefront of efforts to revive a bill that would mandate the installation of anti-DUI devices in the vehicles of offenders. Notably, existing laws do not currently apply to first-time offenders. This initiative comes as part of a broader push for enhanced safety measures, especially concerning impaired driving. One advocate is motivated to effect change due to a personal tragedy; she is working with a local organization to prevent others from enduring similar losses.

It is reported that the advocates anticipate the envisioned technology will be a game-changer, employing smart car features that extend beyond traditional breathalyzer devices. They are optimistic that this advanced technology could signify the “beginning of the end of drunk driving.” Notably, President Biden’s federal infrastructure bill includes provisions that require anti-drunk driving technology in all new cars starting in 2026. The bill has already been signed into law. Continue reading →

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It is generally understood that DUI arrests increase around the holiday season. In an effort to crack down on an increase in drunk driving, Arizona enacted a holiday DUI enforcement plan. In Arizona, as in Illinois, the police can only arrest people for DUI crimes in certain situations, however, and if a person is unjustly arrested, they may be able to effectively argue for the dismissal of charges against them. If you were arrested for a DUI offense, it is wise to meet with an Illinois DUI defense attorney to discuss your rights.

Arizona’s Reduction in DUI Arrests

It is reported that the Arizona’s Governor’s Office of Highway Safety initiated the statewide holiday DUI enforcement task force the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving. The office’s director highlighted that to regular drivers, this campaign would manifest as an increased presence of law enforcement on the roads. During Thanksgiving weekend, there were approximately 50 fewer DUI arrests than the previous year, which the director of the office attributes to the heightened visibility.

He based his information on data from the previous December. He noted that the holiday season typically sees an uptick in intoxicated driving, DUI incidents, and an increase in speeding, especially in the Phoenix Metropolitan area and throughout the state. Continue reading →

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In the United States, DUI defendants have multiple rights, including the right to an attorney. When the right arises is not always clear, however, as demonstrated in a recent Kansas case in which the defendant argued his request was unjustly denied. While the Kansas ruling does not have implications in Illinois, it provides insight into how states throughout the country interpret the right. If an Illinois police department arrested you for a DUI crime in Illinois, it is smart to talk to an Illinois DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible.

The Kansas Ruling

It is reported that a Kansas police officer initiated a traffic stop on the defendant, whose vehicle had the wrong license plate. The defendant, exhibiting signs of impairment, expressed a desire to consult an attorney during the stop. Despite this, the officer denied the request and conducted cognitive sobriety tests, leading to the defendant’s arrest for DUI. The defendant contested the evidentiary test results, arguing that the denial of his pretest requests for counsel violated his rights. The district court initially supported the defendant’s position but later reversed, relying on the interpretation that Kansas law limited the right to request counsel to the posttest period. The Kansas Court of Appeals disagreed, asserting that the law was ambiguous and allowed requests for counsel both before and after the DUI test.

Allegedly, the Kansas Supreme Court issued an opinion clarifying the timing of a valid request for an attorney in DUI cases. The court upheld the district court’s decision, emphasizing that Kansas law requires law enforcement officers to inform the driver about their right to counsel only after completing evidentiary tests. The majority opinion held that pretest requests for counsel should not carry over to the posttest period, aligning with the interpretation that the statutory right to post-test counsel requires a specific request after the administration of the evidentiary breath test. Continue reading →

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It is common knowledge that people involved in collisions while they are driving under the influence can be charged with DUI crimes. It is less clear in some cases, however, what constitutes a crash and, therefore, grounds for arresting a person for suspicion of DUI. A recent Florida case in which the court ruled that a single car accident highlights this issue and the implications it could have for people charged with DUI crimes. If you are charged with a DUI offense, it is smart to talk to an Illinois DUI defense lawyer to weigh your possible defenses.

Florida Law Regarding DUI Crashes

It is reported that a significant legal battle in Florida has arisen following a single-vehicle accident that could have a far-reaching impact in DUI cases. In September 2019, the defendant was arrested on misdemeanor DUI charges in Tallahassee after his truck flipped into a ditch. Police responded to the accident, finding the defendant in a disoriented state. He was arrested, claiming he had two beers at a pool hall and was sideswiped on his way home. The defendant’s defense argued that neither officer had seen him driving the vehicle, making the warrantless misdemeanor arrest invalid since Florida law mandates that a crime must occur in the presence of police for such arrests.

Allegedly, a crash is an exception to this rule. As such, the primary issue became whether the incident fit the legal definition of a crash. A three-judge panel in Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the defendant’s accident was indeed a crash. They concluded that the collision with other objects, damage to the road and ditch, and a damaged headlight met the definition of a crash. This ruling has significant implications, as it may impact future DUI cases involving crashes and the definition of crashes under the law. Continue reading →

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In Illinois and most other states, people can be arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol, no matter how short of a journey they take. In some instances, though, extenuating circumstances may make a court view acts that are grounds for a DUI arrest more leniently. This was demonstrated in a recent California case in which the court dismissed DUI charges against a woman who drove 30 feet as she was attempting to flee an abusive boyfriend. If you are faced with accusations that you drove while intoxicated, you should meet with an Illinois DUI defense lawyer to determine your options.

The California DUI Case

It is reported that a California judge dismissed a DUI case against a woman who was charged with a misdemeanor DUI for driving 30 feet to escape an abusive boyfriend. The woman had called the police after being threatened and hit by her boyfriend, but officers left her with him in his van. Later, fearing for her safety, she moved her car to a different parking spot and was arrested for DUI. The initial trial ended in a mistrial when the jury could not agree on her culpability. The District Attorney’s Office sought a retrial, but the woman’s lawyer argued that she had moved her car out of necessity to protect herself.

Allegedly, the judge agreed with the woman’s lawyer and dismissed the case, citing the necessity defense, which is akin to self-defense in murder trials. The judge believed that the woman had acted out of necessity due to the danger she faced from her abusive boyfriend. He noted that while DUI is a serious offense, the circumstances mattered, and the woman had only driven a short distance late at night in an almost empty parking lot at low speed. Continue reading →

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When it comes to DUI offenses, many people associate them with operating cars, trucks, or SUVs while intoxicated. However, some states, like Illinois, have broader DUI laws that encompass operating any vehicle. A recent change in Oregon law highlights this point, as it reduces the penalties for operating a bicycle while intoxicated but nonetheless permits people to be charged with bicycle-related DUI crimes. If you find yourself accused of a DUI offense, consulting a reputable Illinois DUI defense attorney is crucial to understanding your rights and options.

Oregon’s DUI Law Changes

Oregon has passed legislation aimed at revising its DUI (Driving Under the Influence) laws, making distinctions between different types of vehicles. House Bill 2316 introduced several changes to Oregon’s DUI laws, broadening the scope of substances that can trigger a DUI conviction and altering diversion program eligibility. Most notably, the bill reduces fines and penalties for individuals cited for bicycling under the influence (BUI).

Previously, Oregon’s DUI law applied uniformly to both car and bicycle operators. While it’s likely that the original DUI law did not contemplate bicycling under the influence, bicycles are considered “vehicles” under Oregon statute, resulting in equal application of the law.

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As marijuana laws continue to change throughout the country, states struggle to keep up with determining how and when to criminalize marijuana-related impairment. While many states have laws that allow people to be prosecuted for DUI if they operate a vehicle while impaired due to marijuana use, others have laws that are more extreme. For example, in Pennsylvania, the mere possession of a medical marijuana card can result in DUI charges, which one legislator is trying to change.  If you are accused of a marijuana-related DUI crime in Illinois, it is in your best interest to talk to an attorney as soon as you can.

Pennsylvania’s Marijuana DUI Law

In Pennsylvania, lawmakers are expected to address a longstanding issue related to medical marijuana this fall. The question at hand is whether having a medical marijuana card automatically makes someone guilty of DUI. Over half a million Pennsylvanians hold a medical marijuana card, and many of them drive. However, there’s a concern that these individuals could be unfairly prosecuted for DUI even if they are not impaired.

Pennsylvania’s DUI law currently has a no-tolerance rule for operating a vehicle under the influence of any federal schedule one drug, including cannabis. This has led to police charging drivers with DUI simply for presenting their state medical marijuana card, even if they are not impaired. Continue reading →

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Many states are moving to impose harsher penalties against those who cause fatal drunk driving collisions, especially when the victim was a parent to a minor child. Texas recently joined Tennessee in enacting a law allowing courts to order child support payments to children who lost a parent in these preventable tragedies. Legislators hope measures like these will deter drunk driving by increasing potential penalties. Critics argue there are already strong deterrents in place through fines, jail time, and license suspension. While similar legislation was previously introduced in Illinois, it did not pass. If you are accused of causing a fatal DUI crash, it is smart to speak to an Illinois DUI defense attorney about your possible defenses.

Tough New DUI Penalties in Texas

It is reported a new Texas law recently went into effect that will require those found guilty of intoxication manslaughter to pay child support to any minor children of the victim. Under House Bill 393, courts must order monthly child support payments to children under 19 years old who suffered the loss of a guardian or parent due to the defendant’s actions.

Allegedly, the court will determine a reasonable payment amount based on factors like the child’s financial, physical, and emotional needs, the standard of living the child is accustomed to enjoying, and the convicted person’s resources. Defendants must begin making payments after release if imprisoned at the time of conviction. Proponents argue this law provides crucial financial stability for families devastated by drunk driving deaths. The law underscores efforts to impose harsher penalties on drunk drivers who take lives. It went into effect as Texas aims to curb holiday weekend DUIs, with over 300 related crashes and 20 deaths last Labor Day. Continue reading →

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As attitudes and laws regarding marijuana use evolve across the United States, states like Illinois that have legalized recreational and medical cannabis must update their DUI laws accordingly. With marijuana impairment more difficult to evaluate than alcohol impairment, people accused of driving under the influence of marijuana face many uncertainties. Maryland, which legalized the recreational use of marijuana on July 1st, recently took a look at how such laws impact DUI crimes in Maryland and nationwide. If you find yourself charged with a marijuana DUI in Illinois, it is critical to work with an experienced attorney to protect your rights.

The Impact of Recent Changes in Maryland’s Marijuana Laws on DUI Crimes

It is alleged that a recent study by the national non-profit Drug-Free America Foundation suggests that cannabis-related DUIs are much higher in states where marijuana is legal compared to states where it remains illegal. Specifically, the study found that cannabis-related DUIs were 32% higher in states with legalized marijuana. This caused concern in Maryland, which recently fully legalized recreational marijuana use.

It is reported that unlike DUI laws relating to alcohol use, Maryland does not have a legal limit for how much THC can be present to constitute a DUI. However, drivers can still be charged if police observe signs of impaired driving and find evidence of marijuana use. Impairment from cannabis can be unpredictable and delayed compared to alcohol impairment. People often underestimate how impaired they are after using marijuana. Some drivers do not seem too worried yet, believing that the same people who used marijuana illegally will simply continue to do so now that it is legal. Maryland police departments have reported slight increases in suspected cannabis DUIs in July after legalization took effect. Continue reading →

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In most states, people convicted of DUI offenses face a number of civil and criminal penalties. Among other things, many states require people found guilty of DUI crimes to install ignition interlock devices on their cars. Recently, the Alabama legislature introduced a bill that aimed to remove the requirement. While the legislation ultimately stalled, it could be a sign of changes to come in Alabama and in other states. If you are accused of a DUI offense in Illinois, it is wise to talk to an Illinois DUI defense attorney about what defenses you may be able to assert.

The Proposed Alabama Law

It is reported that SB72, a bill introduced in the Alabama statehouse, was posed to change how the state penalized people convicted of DUI crimes. The bill focuses on ignition interlock devices, which prevent a car from starting if the driver is impaired. Currently, those charged with drunk driving participating in a pretrial diversion program are required to have the device installed in their vehicle. The existing law will sunset in July, however, and the proposed bill would end the requirement entirely after that.

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