It is not uncommon for DUI arrests to increase during the holiday season, in part due to an increased enforcement effort by law enforcement agencies to ensure road safety. For example, the Illinois State Police and Department of Transportation recently announced a holiday-related campaign that aims to reduce drunk driving and to prosecute people who violate Illinois’ drunk driving laws. However, it’s crucial to note that police must have reasonable cause to initiate a vehicle stop. Without a valid reason, any evidence obtained during such stops may be deemed inadmissible in court. 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.
Increased DUI Surveillance During the Holidays
Reportedly, the Illinois Department of Transportation, in collaboration with the Illinois State Police and numerous law enforcement agencies, is actively promoting its annual campaign to attempt to reduce DUI arrests and accidents. The campaign urges individuals to plan for a safe ride home before engaging in festivities, emphasizing the importance of sober driving during the holiday season. Among other things, the agencies behind the campaign are emphasizing that driving while impaired is illegal and dangerous, regardless of whether it is due to alcohol or drugs.
Allegedly, the initiative to enforce DUI laws is in response to an increase in crash fatalities this year compared to the prior year. During the campaign, police will conduct roadside safety checks and targeted patrols. The campaign advises planning ahead, designating sober drivers, using community sober ride programs, and intervening if friends or family are about to drive impaired. The initiative extends zero tolerance to speeding, distracted driving, and other traffic violations.
Illinois Law Regarding DUI Checkpoints and Investigations
DUI checkpoints, also known as sobriety checkpoints, are legal in Illinois, and law enforcement agencies may conduct these checkpoints to screen motorists for signs of impairment. However, the police must adhere to constitutional requirements, including the Fourth Amendment, which protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures.
While DUI checkpoints are permitted, police officers generally need reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle for suspected DUI outside of these checkpoints. Reasonable suspicion entails specific and articulable facts that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a crime, such as driving under the influence, is occurring. Failure to adhere to these legal standards may result in challenges to the legality of a traffic stop in court.
Consult with a Trusted Illinois DUI Defense Attorney
While DUI arrests may surge during the holidays, law enforcement agents must adhere to established protocols when investigating and prosecuting DUI crimes. If you are facing DUI charges in Illinois and believe your rights were violated during a traffic stop, consulting with an experienced DUI defense attorney is crucial to understanding your legal options. Attorney Theodore J. Harvatin of the Harvatin Law Offices, PC, is a trusted Illinois DUI defense lawyer, and if you hire him, he will craft persuasive arguments on your behalf. You can reach Mr. Harvatin by calling 217.525.0520 or using the online form to arrange a consultation.