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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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People that cause drunk driving fatalities often face significant criminal penalties, including jail time and fines. In some states, if a person killed in a drunk driving crash was the parent of a minor child, the person that caused the collision may have to pay child support as well. Tennessee is the most recent state to introduce such legislation via a law named after children left behind when their parents died in drunk driving collisions. The law indicates a movement to dissuade people from driving while intoxicated by increasing penalties, and similar legislation was previously bought in Illinois. If you are charged with causing a DUI collision, it is smart to speak to an Illinois DUI defense attorney about your possible defenses.

The Tennessee Legislation

It is reported that a 2023 Tennessee law requires people who cause drunk driving accidents that kill parents to pay child support for any surviving children. Specifically, the law dictates that if a person is convicted of vehicular homicide due to intoxication and the person killed in the accident was the parent of a child under the age of majority, the sentencing court must order the defendant to pay restitution in the form of maintenance to each child left behind by the victim.

Allegedly, the support obligation will endure until the child reaches the age of eighteen or graduates from high school. The courts must determine what constitutes a reasonable and necessary support obligation based on all relevant factors, including the child’s financial resources and needs, the financial resources and needs of any surviving parent, and the standard of living the child is accustomed to enjoying. The law was created by a drafted resident of Missouri after her grandson, Bentley, was orphaned by a drunk driving accident; the statute is named Ethan’s Hailey’ and Bentley’s Law. Continue reading →

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During the holiday season, it seems as if more people are arrested for DUI offenses than during other times of the year. Some states report a higher number of DUIs overall, regardless of the time of year. A recent survey ranked which states have the highest and lowest rate of DUI crimes and offered other key information about DUI offenses during the holiday season. If you were arrested and charged with a DUI during the holidays, it is wise to meet with an Illinois DUI defense lawyer to evaluate your options.

The Worst DUI States

Reportedly, a recent survey of 50 states and an assessment of information from the FBI and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers insights into which states have the highest rates of drinking and driving and which states have the lowest. 5,000 drivers were surveyed as well to determine their observations regarding drinking and driving during the holiday season.

Allegedly, Montana was at the top of the list, as the survey showed that over eight drunk drivers out of every 100,000 drivers caused fatal crashes, and 45% of all traffic deaths in 2020 were caused by drunk drivers. Wyoming had the second-highest rate of drunk driving fatalities, followed by Texas. On the other end of the spectrum, Washington, D.C. had the lowest rate of DUI fatalities, followed by New Jersey and Utah. Notably, over 50% of drivers surveyed indicated they were afraid of being involved in car crashes during the holidays, and almost 40% reported seeing family or friends that appeared to be intoxicated driving home from holiday parties.   Continue reading →

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Like all criminal defendants, people charged with DUI crimes have the right to a speedy trial. Among other things, the right to a speedy trial aims to prevent the spoliation of potentially exculpatory evidence. Even if critical evidence is lost during a delay in bringing a defendant to trial, though, it does not necessarily mean that the charges against the defendant should be dismissed. This was illustrated recently in a DUI case arising out of Oregon, in which the court found that the delay in question was unreasonable but ultimately not the cause of the destruction of evidence. If you are accused of commiting a DUI crime, it is in your best interest to confer with an Illinois DUI defense lawyer about your possible defenses.

The Oregon Case

It is reported that the defendant was arrested, booked, and charged by the state for DUI, which was classified as a misdemeanor offense. Five days after he was charged, the prosecutor dismissed the charges against him so that it could investigate whether he had any other DUI convictions that would increase the DUI to a felony.

Allegedly, the defendant was indicted on a felony DUI charge six weeks later. By then, the video taken from the jail on the night of the defendant’s arrest and booking had been overwritten. The defendant moved for dismissal of the charges against him, arguing that the video may have contained evidence in his favor and his inability to use the video was prejudicial. The court denied his motion, and he appealed. On appeal, the court affirmed the decision on the grounds that, while the absence of the video may have been prejudicial, the defendant failed to show that the destruction of the video was caused by the prosecution’s delays. Continue reading →

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