Few people are as beloved in New Jersey as the entertainers that hail from the state. Thus, when news broke that a famous singer was arrested and charged with a DUI offense, it sent shock waves throughout the area. Few details have emerged regarding the offense and what information is available varies greatly, causing some question whether it was unfounded due to the absence of a reasonable suspicion that a DUI crime was committed. The DUI and reckless driving charges were ultimately dropped and the singer was merely ordered to pay a fine, but the matter it arguably highlights that it is important for people charged with a DUI offense to retain skillful DUI defense attorneys to help them fight to protect their liberties.
The Singer’s Arrest
Reportedly, two different accounts have arisen as to the facts surrounding the singer’s arrest. In the first, it is alleged that the singer was observed by a police officer consuming a shot of tequila with fans in a public park, then getting onto his motorcycle and driving away. In this version, the singer’s BAC was 0.02%, well below New Jersey’s legal limit of 0.08%.
In the second version, however, while it is reported that the singer consumed a shot of tequila and then drove his motorcycle, it is also alleged that he smelled of alcohol, admitted to consuming two shots of alcohol, was swaying, and refused to submit to a breath test. A short time after news of the arrest broke it was reported that the DUI and reckless driving charges were dropped, and a $500 fine for drinking alcohol in a closed area was imposed.
Grounds for DUI Charges in Illinois
In Illinois, as in New Jersey, a person can be arrested and charged with a DUI offense for having a BAC that is 0.08% or greater. Additionally, people in Illinois can face criminal charges for operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. In other words, they do not have to have a BAC of 0.08% to be convicted. In fact, if the State has sufficient circumstantial evidence of a person’s intoxication, such as slurred speech, an unsteady gait, and glassy eyes, a BAC may not be required to prove a defendant was intoxicated.
Regardless of what evidence is obtained in a traffic stop, however, the police must have reasonable suspicion that a crime is occurring to make the stop, to begin with. Under Illinois law, whether an arresting officer has reasonable suspicion of a crime depends on the situation the officer faced at the time the stop was conducted. In other words, whether the suspicion is reasonable depends, in part, on the officer’s skill, knowledge, and experience rather than the knowledge of the average individual. Reasonable suspicion evaluations must be made on a case by case basis.
Speak to a Trusted Illinois DUI Defense Attorney
If you are faced with charges that you committed a DUI offense it is critical to obtain a capable lawyer to help you mount a compelling defense. Theodore J. Harvatin, of Harvatin Law Offices, PC, is a trusted Illinois DUI defense attorney with the skills and experience needed to help you seek a favorable result, and if you hire him, he will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can contact Mr. Harvatin through the form online or at 217.525.0520 to set up a conference.