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Posted on in DUI

Aurora, IL, Defense Attorney

Here in the state of Illinois, drunk driving accidents make up 30 percent of all statewide motor vehicle crash fatalities. Because of the large number of drunk driving deaths, law enforcement officials have cracked down on DUIs in Illinois, making over 27,000 DUI arrests in 2017 alone. If you have been pulled over by a police officer, and have been drinking, it is easy to feel as if you have no options other than to submit to blood alcohol concentration (BAC) testing, but it is important to note that it is not a crime to refuse a DUI test

BAC Test Refusal

As a driver in the state of Illinois, you imply consent to be DUI tested when you receive your driver’s license. That means refusing a BAC test is not a criminal offense, but rather an administrative offense. 

While there are a number of options for law enforcement to test your BAC after pulling you over, including urine or blood drawings, the most common testing method is through the use of a breathalyzer. This is a device used to test the BAC of a person under suspicion of DUI, with the use of a breath sample. 

It is important to note that refusing a breathalyzer can come with harsh legal consequences. A first-time offender will likely face an immediate license suspension of one year. A subsequent refusal can result in a three-year suspension. Still, by refusing to take a breathalyzer, you limit the prosecution to only the officer’s personal account of the incident. 

If you do take the test and are over the legal limit of .08, while it can be difficult to avoid a DUI conviction, it is not impossible. A skilled attorney can investigate the facts of your case and formulate the best possible course of action.

Contact an Elgin, IL DUI Defense Lawyer 

With more than a decade of legal experience in the state of Illinois, including as an assistant state’s attorney, Brian J. Mirandola is well equipped to fight for your rights. If you have been arrested on DUI charges, it is critical to understand the potential ramifications of a conviction. Our legal team will fight to keep a conviction off your record and can help preserve your driving privileges. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney, call us today at 847-488-0889. 

Sources:

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

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Posted on in DUI

DUI, Elgin DUI defense attorneyThe state of Illinois takes drinking and driving very seriously. Car accidents involving intoxicated drivers caused 10,265 deaths in 2015 and thousands more injuries. Over a million people were charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) during the same year. If you are caught drinking and driving in Illinois, the penalties can be severe and life-altering. It is important that every driver be educated about DUI laws.

When Can Someone Be Arrested for DUI?

If a police officer suspects a driver is intoxicated, the officer will pull the car over. Next, if the officer still has concerns about the driver’s sobriety he will ask them to take a field sobriety test or chemical blood alcohol content (BAC) test. The BAC test is usually done via a breathalyzer device. If the test shows a result of 0.80 percent BAC or higher, the driver will be arrested for driving under the influence and his or her driver’s license will automatically be suspended for six months. A driver who is under age 21 is not legally permitted to drive with any amount of alcohol in their body. If you are under age 21, you can be charged with driving under the influence even if you do not blow over 0.08 percent BAC on a breathalyzer.

A driver can be arrested for DUI even without a failed BAC test. If the officer’s observation of the driver and field sobriety tests show signs of intoxication, the driver may still be arrested. The automatic suspension of driving privileges does not apply without a failed or refused test.

Can I Refuse a BAC Test?

Motorists do have the right to refuse to take a breathalyzer test, but doing so results in an automatic driver’s license suspension of one year. Some individuals who refuse to take a test do so because they hope the prosecution will be unable to find other evidence that they were driving under the influence. This can happen, but it is very important to note that a person can still be charged with DUI even if they do not consent to chemical testing.

What Are the Penalties for a DUI?

If you are convicted of driving under the influence, you will face severe criminal penalties. For a first time DUI offender, the penalties include up to one year’s imprisonment, driver’s license suspension of up to a year, and $2500 in fines. An additional $1,000 fine and 25 days of community service are included in the penalties if you drove with a person under age 16 in the car while intoxicated. If you are convicted of a second DUI in Illinois, you will receive a minimum 5-year suspension of your driver’s license and a mandatory 5 days in jail or 240 days of community service. Additionally, you can be imprisoned for a year and fined $2500. A third DUI conviction results in a minimum 10-year loss of driving privileges and up to seven years in jail.

Who Can I Call for Help?

If you have been charged with driving under the influence, you need a DUI lawyer who can help keep you out of jail. To speak with an experienced Elgin criminal defense attorney at The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, call 847-488-0889 today.

Source:

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

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Posted on in DUI

breathalyzer, Kane County criminal defense attorneyBreathalyzers are the most commonly used form of testing used to find a driver’s blood-alcohol content (BAC). Usually administered by a police officer during a traffic stop, breathalyzers are used to determine if a driver is driving under the influence of alcohol. Although they are used quite frequently, breathalyzers are not the most accurate measure of how much alcohol an individual has consumed. A blood test is much more precise, but blood tests cannot be easily administered during a traffic stop.

In most cases, a breathalyzer will only be administered if the police officer has reasonable suspicion that a driver is under the influence of alcohol. If an individual has more than 80 mg alcohol per 100 mL of blood in their body, he or she is considered over the legal limit in Illinois.

Sources of Error

Over the years, many individuals and groups have called the accuracy of breathalyzers into question. In February, thousands of tests were thrown out in Boston after suspicion that the tests were erroneous. The machines were found to be improperly calibrated and maintained by the state of Massachusetts. Another source of error is interfering compounds found in the breath which can significantly affect the test results. Substances such as lacquer, paint remover, gasoline, cleaning fluids, and other ethers/alcohols can result in a false positive reading on some breathalyzer machines.

Diabetics have a higher amount of ether alcohol in their body which has been found to cause a false positive in some older breathalyzer machines. Those suffering from kidney disease can be at risk for inaccurate BAC readings as well. Acid reflux, belching, and alcohol trapped in dentures or dental fixtures have also been cited as causes for inaccurate BAC readings.

Breathalyzer Myths

Methods to "trick" breathalyzers have mostly been debunked. Some drivers hoping to avoid a DUI conviction have unsuccessfully tried eating breath mints or gargling mouthwash before the test. Others have touted the efficacy of putting pennies and batteries in one’s mouth before taking a breathalyzer test. Although these methods may decrease the smell of alcohol on the breath, they do not decrease the amount of alcohol in the blood. Residual mouth alcohol from mouthwash, in fact, can result in a BAC which is much higher than the actual amount of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream. Regardless, police are trained to wait 15-20 minutes for mouth alcohol or other possible interferences to dissipate before administering the test.

We Can Help

If you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence, an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney can offer the guidance and representation you need. We are prepared to challenge breathalyzer results when appropriate, and we will work hard on your behalf throughout the process. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation today.

Sources:

http://www.wcvb.com/article/thousands-of-brethalyzer-tests-thrown-out/8949508

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0379073801005345

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