The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola

CALL FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120

847-488-0889
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in DUI stop

IL DUI lawyerDuring this time in Illinois, there are fewer cars on the road and with bars closed, there is less of a possibility to find a drunk driver. However, people have not completely stopped leaving their homes and since there are fewer cars out, it will be easier for police to spot a driver under the influence.

While patrolling the streets, police officers look for signs of intoxication such as braking hard or fast, swerving between lanes, disobeying traffic laws, running red lights, etc. Any of these signs will warrant a traffic stop so that the officer can determine if the driver is in fact drunk.

What Happens When a Car Is Stopped?

Illinois police officers have the right and responsibility to pull over any vehicle they suspect to be operated by a drunk driver. Once the stop has been made, the officer will approach the suspected vehicle and observe the state of the driver.

If the officer sees any signs of drunkenness, they can then perform a field sobriety test. Signs an officer will look for include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Red and/or watery eyes
  • Smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath
  • Driver confusion or inability to comply with requests by the officer
  • Open containers in the vehicle
  • Driver admission to consuming alcohol

Once the officer suspects that the driver is drunk, they can order a field sobriety test; this usually is a test of three actions the driver must perform to defend their sobriety. An officer can ask the driver to walk in a straight line, put their finger on their nose and raise one leg, or follow the officer’s finger with their eyes.

Based on the observed results, the officer will have probable cause to make an arrest.

During the traffic stop, an officer could also conduct a preliminary alcohol screening which involves the driver breathing into a portable breathalyzer. This device measures blood alcohol content (BAC). If the driver’s BAC is over the legal limit, 0.08, then the officer has cause to make an arrest.

What Not to Do During a DUI Traffic Stop

It is always important to follow the officer’s directions when stopped under suspicion of DUI. Even if you are sober, acting calm and unoffended is the best way to behave. Acting irrationally or giving the officer a hard time for doing their job could lead to a different type of arrest.

To protect yourself during a traffic stop, drivers should not:

  • Act aggravated or defensive
  • Make any sudden movements that could be considered “hostile”
  • Exit their vehicle until directed by the officer
  • Swear at the officer
  • Act vulgar or irrational

If a driver is sober and knows it, they should remain calm and get through the traffic stop as easily as possible. If it is proven that the driver is sober, no charges will be issued by the police officer.

Contact an Elgin, IL DUI Attorney

If an arrest is made after a traffic stop, the driver should hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola who can help defend the driver’s right. They can build a case to avoid serious punishments. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County DUI lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Source:

https://www.dui-usa.drinkdriving.org/dui_dwi_information.php

Last modified on

Posted on in DUI

b2ap3_thumbnail_DUI_20191014-235658_1.jpgIt is always a scary feeling to see red and blue flashing lights in your rear-view mirror, especially if you know you’ve had a few drinks before getting behind the wheel. A lot of people think that they will be arrested for a DUI offense if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit and so they refuse the necessary tests during the traffic stop.

It is within a person’s rights to refuse the breathalyzer test and the typical field sobriety test during the traffic stop, however, that would result in an automatic one-year suspension of a driver’s license and a possible arrest where the test will be administered at the police station.

However, an arrest is not usually made unless the officer knows for sure that a driver is drunk. How do they figure that out without a chemical or field sobriety test? They observe a driver’s behavior, movements, smells, and use techniques to properly determine the sobriety.

Driver Interview Process

A police officer starts observing drunken behavior before he/she even stops the vehicle. They look for signs such as swerving, uncontrolled braking or accelerating, and delayed reactions which could be evidence of driver drunkenness.

Then, they will perform a traffic stop to assess the status of the driver. The officer will sometimes not ask for the driver to get out of the car at first, but instead, they will conduct a driver interview. During this time, an officer will:

  • Look for signs of drunkenness: slurred speech, glossy eyes, alcohol smells.
  • Ask difficult questions or ask a driver for multiple documents at the same time.
  • Observe the motor skills of the driver. Whether or not they are fumbling for documents.
  • Ask questions while a driver is looking for their license to see how easily distracted the driver becomes.
  • Ask the driver to recite part of the alphabet or answer questions they would normally be able to answer.
  • Ask the driver to count down from 15 to 1.
  • Ask the driver to verify how many fingers the officer is holding up.

Depending upon the answers of the driver and the observations the officer collects, the officer will then ask the driver to exit the vehicle for a field sobriety test.

Typical Field Sobriety Test

It is within a driver’s rights to not perform a field sobriety test, but if the officer already has clear evidence of drunkenness, they can still perform an arrest without a test.

If a driver does accept the field sobriety test, there are three general exams the officer will ask the driver to perform:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: the officer will have the driver follow their finger with only their eyes. If the driver moves their head or has a “jerky” response in their eyes, they fail the test.
  • Walk-And-Turn: the officer will ask the driver to walk in a straight line for a number of steps, turn, and walk back the same amount of steps. If the driver has to use their arms for balance, makes an improper turn, stumbles, or cannot walk in a straight line, they fail the test.
  • One-Leg Stand: the officer will ask the driver to raise one foot off the ground with their arms at their sides. Then, the driver will count up from 1,000 until told to stop. If the driver falls over, uses their arms for balance, or cannot count, they fail the test.

Officers will fully explain and demonstrate each test before they ask the driver to perform the actions. If the driver does not follow the directions completely, they will fail the field sobriety test.

Often people refuse the field sobriety test because they can be inaccurate depending on the conditions of the road or the physical ability of the driver. Those who are unable to lift a leg and be balanced even when sober can fail the one-leg stand and face possible arrest because of it.

Contact an Elgin, IL DUI Attorney

Drivers who have been wrongfully arrested on a DUI charge or those who have refused a field sobriety test can face many consequences including the loss of a driver’s license, fines, and even jail time for multiple offenders. The lawyers of the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola can help defend a driver’s rights and build a defense to avoid any negative conviction. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County DUI lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Source:

https://www.isp.state.il.us/docs/sfst_1day_refresher.pdf

 

Last modified on

Posted on in DUI

Aurora, IL DUI lawyer

Here in the state of Illinois, law enforcement is constantly on the lookout for drunk drivers. According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, more than 27,000 people were arrested on DUI charges in 2017 alone. A DUI conviction can come with serious legal ramifications and should not be taken lightly. 

Once you have been pulled over by a police officer, it is important to understand how your actions can impact your case. In the event of an arrest, contact an experienced DUI lawyer as soon as possible. 

Illinois DUI Stops

If you are driving, and you see a law enforcement officer turn their lights on behind you, it is important to follow basic safety procedures. Do not stop in the middle of the road, simply slow your vehicle and find a safe place to pull over. Do not pull over on a bridge, next to a guardrail, or on a sharp curve. Once you have come to a complete stop in a safe location, it is important to remain calm. 

As the officer approaches your vehicle, keep both hands on the steering wheel and remain seated. If the officer requests your license and registration, comply as requested. If the officer has reason to suspect you are driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they will likely request a field sobriety test. 

In the state of Illinois, implied consent laws state you will agree to blood-alcohol content (BAC) testing. Despite the implied consent, it is not a crime to refuse chemical testing. That said, if you decline, you will face an automatic 12-month license suspension. 

If you submit to testing and the officer deems you are driving under the influence, you will be taken to the police station and charged with a DUI. 

License Suspension and Revocation

Once you have been charged, it is important to seek skilled legal guidance. A first-time DUI conviction constitutes a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in up to one year in jail and fines of $2,500. A first-time DUI offender also receives a 12-month driver’s license suspension. Subsequent DUI convictions come with harsher punishments. A second DUI conviction results in a five-year suspension. If you are convicted of a third DUI, you may face a license revocation period of 10 years, while a fourth conviction constitutes a lifetime revocation of driving privileges. 

Contact an Elgin, IL DUI Lawyer

With years of experience serving the state of Illinois, Attorney Brian J. Mirandola is prepared to aggressively represent you to keep a DUI conviction off your record and preserve your ability to drive as needed. Do not wait any longer. It is critical to work with a skilled legal team immediately. To schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable Kane County criminal defense attorney, call us today at 847-488-0889. 

Sources

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

Last modified on

Posted on in DUI

breathalyzer, Kane County DUI defense attorneyEvery one of us has experienced fear in a particular situation—especially when the police are involved. In fact, the fear that arises when one is being pulled over is extremely common, and police officers are trained on how to handle a person’s fears. Of course, if you have been drinking and you are pulled over, your fear is likely to be even greater. Fear can lead to impulsive and irrational decisions, including attempting to trick or fool a breathalyzer test. Regardless of what you may have heard, such tricks rarely work and may lead to even bigger problems for you.

Two Rounds of Breathalyzers

It is important to understand that there two different types of breathalyzer tests typically administered during a stop for suspected driving under the influence (DUI). The first is a preliminary test, which provides a basis on which the officer will conduct the rest of the stop. Preliminary blood-alcohol content (BAC) testing is not admissible in court and officers may administer preliminary tests in a fairly casual manner. It is during the preliminary tests that those inclined to try to manipulate the test results are likely to do so.

The second round of testing is conducted after a person has been arrested on suspicion of DUI. There are specific protocols that the officer must follow when conducted the second test, as the results of this round are usually used as evidence during prosecution. For example, the officer will observe the suspect for a prescribed amount of time to ensure he or she does not put anything in his or her mouth that could affect the test.

Pennies, Mouthwash, and Sprays

As the officer approaches your car, it may be tempting to rinse your mouth with mouthwash or breath spray. Or, perhaps you have heard that putting a penny in your mouth will cause a breathalyzer to give a lower reading. The short answer is do not bother with these types of tricks. To begin with, many types of mouthwash and breath sprays actually contain alcohol, and while a breathalyzer is not really focused on alcohol in a subject’s mouth, the residual amounts could cause the preliminary test results to show higher than they otherwise would show. Breathalyzers take samples of deep lung air—which is why the officer will ask you to continue exhaling for as long as you can. Putting items in your mouth or attempting to mask the smell of alcohol will have no effect on the traces of alcohol deep in your lungs.

If you are afraid of failing a breath test, you could refuse to take it. Refusing a preliminary test does not carry criminal or administrative consequences, but your refusal could prompt the officer to look even more closely for other signs of impairment. Refusing a test after you have been arrested will result in the suspension of your driving privileges, but so will failing. Many believe that you are better off dealing with the suspension rather than providing the police with additional evidence to be used against you.

Call Us for Help

When you have been arrested and charged with DUI, you need an attorney on your side who will fight to protect your rights. Contact an experienced Elgin DUI defense lawyer for help. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today.

Sources:

https://www.thoughtco.com/beat-a-breathalyzer-3975944

https://www.isp.state.il.us/docs/1-195.pdf

Last modified on

one-leg stand, Kane County DUI defense attorneyOver the last couple of weeks, posts on this blog have talked a little about the battery of standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs) recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These three tests are commonly used by police officers during traffic stops to help determine whether a driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs. If you have been arrested on drunk driving charges, you should seek help from a skilled defense attorney immediately.

Two Types, Three Tests

There are three tests that comprise the SFSTs: the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the walk-and-turn, and the one-leg stand. The first test—the horizontal gaze nystagmus—is an observation of involuntary eye movements while the subject follows a pen or flashlight with his or her eyes. The other two tests are both considered "divided attention" tests, because they test the subject’s ability to hear and follow instructions while performing simple tasks. The rationale behind these tests is that a sober person, for the most part, would have little trouble completing them, while an impaired person is much more likely to struggle.

Test 3: The One-Leg Stand

As with the walk-and-turn test, the one-leg stand test is also broken down into two phases: instruction and performance. During the instruction stage, the officer will explain to the subject what he or she is expected to do and will demonstrate the proper procedure. The officer will confirm the subject understands before moving on to the performance phase.

During the performance stage, the subject must raise one foot parallel to and about six inches off the ground. With hands remaining at the sides, the subject must look at his or her raised foot and count slowly—"one thousand one, one thousand two, etc."—until told to stop by the officer. Most tests last for about 30 seconds.

While the subject is counting, the officer will be looking for indicators of possible impairment, including:

  • Swaying from side to side;
  • Using the arms to maintain balance;
  • Hopping to regain balance; and
  • Putting the foot down.

If the subject demonstrates two or more of these indicators, the likelihood for impairment is high.

Reliability Factors

According to the NHTSA, approximately 65 percent of people who "fail" the one-leg stand test are later determined to have a blood-alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit. This means that the test gives a false positive about one time in three. Age, physical condition, and middle-ear problems could all impact a subject’s ability to perform the one-leg stand, even while not impaired.

Law enforcement officials and prosecutors say that such tests are not meant to be taken on their own but as part of the three-test battery. The cumulative results, officials maintain, are much more convincing.

Call Us Today

If you or a loved one has been arrested on charges of driving under the influence, contact an experienced Kane County DUI defense attorney. We are prepared to help you challenges the results of standardized field sobriety tests, and we will work hard to protect your rights. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today.

Sources:

https://ntl.bts.gov/DOCS/deskbk.html#AADID

http://duijusticelink.aaa.com/issues/detection/standard-field-sobriety-test-sfst-and-admissibility/

Last modified on
Avvo Illinois State Bar Association Kane COunty Bar Association
Back to Top