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Kane County DUI defense lawyerBeing found guilty of driving under the influence (DUI) can have devastating effects on an individual’s life. Those found guilty of drunk driving can face steep fines, loss of driving privileges, community service, and even jail time. Most people have heard that 0.08 is the magic number when it comes to being legally intoxicated behind the wheel. However, there are several circumstances where a person can be in violation of the law when driving a car with a blood alcohol content which is under the legal limit.

Illinois Per Se DUI Laws

The reason it seems that 0.08 is the magic number when it comes to DUIs is because driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or more is considered "per se intoxicated." "Per se" laws establish that if someone is operating a vehicle and is found to have a BAC over the 0.08 limit, that no other evidence is necessary to prove a driver’s intoxication. However, a BAC at or above the legal limit is not always necessary for a DUI conviction.

Zero Tolerance for Drivers Under 21 Years Old

Illinois, like all other states, sets the legal drinking age at 21 years. If an underage driver is caught with any trace of alcohol in their system, they can be charged with a DUI. Even a BAC of only 0.01 may be enough to result in a DUI conviction.

Noticeable Impairment

According to Illinois state law, the term "intoxicated" driving applies to both alcohol and drugs.  If an officer feels that you are "noticeably intoxicated" and you are found to have drugs in your body, you can be charged with a DUI. Even prescription drugs can impair a person’s ability to drive, so they can also contribute to this charge.

Prosecutors May Claim a Lower BAC Is a Result of Time

Sometimes, a driver is pulled over, given a blood alcohol test, and the test results in a BAC very near to the legal limit - such as 0.07 or 0.06. A police officer may still charge those with BACs just under the legal limit with a DUI. A prosecutor may argue that the BAC was actually higher at the time the person was driving but had lowered as time passed before the test.

If you have been accused of drunk driving or charged with a DUI, speak with an experienced Kane County DUI attorney for help. Contact The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today at 847-488-0889 to schedule your free consultation.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

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Posted on in DUI

legal limit, Kane County DUI defense attorneyDrunk driving is a serious issue in the United States. Every year, drunk driving takes the lives of approximately 10,000 people. This works out to about 28 deaths linked to an impaired driver every single day. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes is estimated to be about $44 billion dollars. In order to mitigate the problem of drunk driving, legislators have limited the amount of alcohol a person can legally have in their body while driving. If a driver is caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than 0.08 percent, he or she will be charged with drinking under the influence (DUI). In order to less the number of alcohol-related car accidents, some experts suggest lowering the legal limit nationwide.

Scientists Say BAC Threshold Should Be Lowered to 0.05 Percent

A panel of accomplished scientists from the National Academics of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine analyzed data from many sources and came to the conclusion that states should lower the legal BAC limit. Presently, all 50 U.S. states maintain a BAC limit of 0.08 percent. Anyone with a BAC higher than this driving a car is breaking the law. It should be noted that although the legal limit is 0.08 percent, drivers showing signs of impairment with a BAC of at least 0.05 percent can still be charged with a DUI in Illinois.

Several states are already considering legislation to lower the legal limit within their borders, and effective December 30, 2018, Utah will lower its BAC limit from 0.08 percent to 0.05. Scientists on the panel believe that all states should follow suit. The group’s report—which consisted of nearly 490 pages—recommended changing the BAC threshold from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent in order to dissuade drivers from getting behind the wheel after a few drinks.

The proposed law would affect different drivers in different ways. Blood alcohol content is affected by a number of factors, including how much the person drank, what they were drinking, their body weight, and how much food they consumed. Women tend to have a lower tolerance for alcohol than men, so a woman’s blood alcohol content may be slighter higher than a man’s even if they drank the same amount of alcohol.

Beyond lowering the BAC limit, the panel also urged states to increase the tax on alcohol and decrease the accessibility of beer, liquor, and wine in stores, restaurants, and bars. The panel predicted that if states were to double the tax on alcohol, fatal accidents involving alcohol would drop by 11 percent. Critics of the proposed changes say that police should be focusing on dangerous drivers or repeat DUI offenders instead of casual drinkers.

Have You Been Charged with a DUI or Other Alcohol-Related Crime?

As police and lawmakers crack down on drunk driving, it is more important than ever that those charged with a DUI employ the help of an experienced criminal attorney. To speak with a skilled Elgin DUI defense attorney at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, call 847-488-0889.

Sources:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/blood-alcohol-limit-combat-drunk-driving-panel-article-1.3762568

https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving

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Posted on in DUI

alcohol, Kane County DUI defense attorneyIf you are stopped by a police officer on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), the arresting officer may ask you to take a breath, blood or urine test in order to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). If your blood alcohol content is found to be 0.08 or higher, you are considered legally intoxicated and you will likely be charged with a DUI. But, are you required to take such a test?

Implied Consent

Illinois has an "implied consent" law. Implied consent means that by driving on the streets and highways of Illinois, you agree to submit to chemical testing for impairment if you are ever arrested on suspicion of DUI. A chemical test is different from a typical criminal interrogation in that you do not have the right to speak to an attorney before you are tested.

It is not uncommon for a police officer to ask a driver to submit to a preliminary breath test before he or she is arrested. In most cases, a preliminary test is used to establish probable cause, and you do not have to take this preliminary test. Refusing a test at this point does not result in any specific penalties, but it may give the officer reason to look more carefully at other indicators of intoxication such as slurred speech or decreased motor skills.

Incident to Arrest

After you are arrested for DUI, the arresting officer will tell you that your license will be suspended if you refuse to submit to an evidentiary chemical test. The first time that you refuse to take the test, the result is that your driver’s license will be suspended for one year. A second or third refusal in the future will result in your driver’s license being suspended for three years. If you refuse to take the BAC test, the arresting officer will submit a sworn report to the Illinois Secretary of State that explains the details of the refusal, and you will receive notice of your license suspension. The actual suspension begins 46 days after you receive that notice.

The answer to, "Should I refuse a blood alcohol test?" is not always simple. In most cases, it is not beneficial to refuse to take a blood, breath, or urine test when you are arrested for a DUI. Although the consequences for refusal are often milder than those for a DUI, refusing the test does not guarantee that you will not be convicted of a DUI. A driver can still be convicted of driving under the influence even if they were not tested. In some cases, refusing to take a blood alcohol test can make you appear even more guilty, and prosecutors may suggest in court that you refused the test because you knew you were intoxicated.

Get Help with Your DUI Case

If you have been arrested and charged with DUI or you have questions about your right to refuse blood alcohol tests, contact an experienced Kane County DUI defense attorney. Call The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation today.

Sources:

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501.1

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Posted on in DUI

implied consent, DUI, BAC testing, Illinois criminal defense attorneyAs a licensed driver in Illinois, you have been granted certain privileges related to the operation of a motor vehicle on roadways within in the state. In exchange for such privileges, you are expected to assume certain responsibilities under law regarding safe and proper driving practices. The state of Illinois also maintains "implied consent" laws to which, by operating a vehicle in accordance with the terms of their licenses, all drivers are subject. One of the more common applications of implied consent relates to blood-alcohol content (BAC) tests when a driver is suspected of driving under the influence (DUI).

Like the implied consent laws in most states, the statutes in Illinois require you to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test if you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI. With probable cause for such an arrest, the law enforcement officer must arrange that the test be conducted as soon as possible for the sake of accuracy. There is no right granted for you to contact an attorney prior to the test and the officer selects the type of test most appropriate for the situation.

In addition, the laws in Illinois provide your implied consent to a breath test, often referred to as a breathalyzer, without the necessity of an arrest. Tests like these are often used as a form of field sobriety tests to determine probable cause that may lead to an arrest for DUI. While you may be inclined to refuse a preliminary test, other circumstantial evidence may provide enough probable cause for your arrest anyway.

A refusal to submit to BAC testing can be extremely serious, especially after a DUI arrest. In fact, prosecutors may even use your refusal as grounds to show that you knew you were driving under the influence. Also, refusing to take a BAC test carries penalties in addition to those prescribed for a DUI conviction. A first-offense refusal results in one-year license suspension, with increased consequences for subsequent offenses.

Refusing a breathalyzer or other BAC test can present significant obstacles to your defense in light of the state’s implied consent laws. However, with the assistance of a qualified lawyer, the impact to your future may be minimized. Contact an experienced DUI defense attorney in Elgin today for a free consultation. Our team will investigate your case and work with you to provide the legal representation you deserve.

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