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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

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IL defense lawyerIllinois was ranked fifth in the country by the Federal Railroad Association for railroad crossing collisions in 2018. In total, Illinois saw 109 collisions (17 deaths and 34 injuries), most of which occurred because safety regulations were not being met by the motorists. Failing to obey the signs that a train is coming is not only a traffic violation, but it also puts lives at risk, as proven by the aforementioned statistics. Not only is the motorist risking their life by trying to beat a train through a crossing, but innocent bystanders can be hurt or killed by debris after a crash.

Signs That a Train Is Approaching

There is plenty of warning given to drivers when they are approaching a train crossing. There will be signs indicating that a crossing is coming up and there may even be lights flashing to alert drivers to prepare to stop.

When a train is approaching, motorists will see:

  • Gates lowering across the road to stop the vehicle from crossing. These gates will also illuminate with flashing red lights.
  • A pair of red railroad lights will begin flashing to get the motorists’ attention and get them to slow down.
  • And a motorist will hear loud bells begin to ring, but this is mostly to alert pedestrians of the incoming train.

Signage for railroad crossings can be posted as far away as 750 feet from the crossing, so drivers have plenty of time to be aware of any trains. In some cases, railroad crossings do not have any safety signals besides a sign. When a driver approaches these types of tracks, they should look both ways before carefully passing over.

When the gates come down, motorists should never speed up to try to beat the train. This is what will lead to a collision. Instead, cars are expected to stop 15 to 50 feet away from the train tracks and wait until the gates raise again before continuing.

How Are Railroad Regulations Enforced?

Some railroad crossings are equipped with an automatic enforcement system which captures images of any violation to railroad regulations. The system will take photos of the vehicle that crosses dangerously, the license plate, and note the time and place in which the incident took place.

Once the proper authorities are alerted to the violation, the driver will face:

  • A $500 fine for a first offense
  • A $1,000 fine for a second offense

Or

  • 25 hours of community service for a first offense
  • Suspension of driver’s license for a minimum of six months

The driver who violated the rules may also have to pay compensation to the railroad company if any damage was done to the safety gates while trying to race the train. Not to mention any lawsuits that may occur if another person was hurt or damage was done to their vehicle by the offending party.

Contact an Elgin, IL Traffic Violation Attorney

It is very dangerous to attempt to beat a train through a railroad crossing, however, there are certain situations that may call for the haste. An emergency elsewhere may need attending to and if that was not happening, then the driver would not have been so reckless. The lawyers of the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help defend against any charges brought to a person fighting traffic violations and criminal offenses. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County criminal defense lawyer, call 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-1201

http://illinoiscarlaws.com/railroad-crossing-laws/

https://oli.org/about-us/news/statistics/collisions-by-state

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IL defense lawyerIllinois law says that bicyclists have as much of a right to drive on roadways that cars have. If they choose to ride on the road, they must follow all the same rules that motorists have to obey in their cars.

It is considered reckless driving if a motorist collides with a bicyclist because car drivers must be aware of bicyclists when approaching crosswalks. However, there are situations in which a collision between a bicyclist and a motorist could be the bicyclist’s fault.

Rules for Bicyclists Driving on Roadways

In 2018, Illinois law was modified to make it legal for bicyclists to drive on the shoulder of roadways. The riders would have to obey the rules of the road, use hand signals when turning, and if riding in a group, they must ride single file so as not to take up space on the road for cars.

If a group of bicyclists rides two or three next to each other, there is not enough room for cars to be able to pass safely and the bicyclists will be responsible for any collisions that result in cars attempting to pass.

To keep the roads safe for everyone, bicyclists must:

  • Ride as far as they can on the right side of the road in single file
  • Stay in bicycle lanes when the lanes are marked on the road
  • Use hand signals when they plan to turn
  • Obey the right-of-way rules when at intersections and stop signs
  • And ride in the same direction of car traffic

How Can Cars Avoid a Collision with a Bicyclist?

Motorists should always be aware of their surroundings when they are driving. A bicyclist can suffer serious injury if involved in a collision with a car and the motorist would have to pay compensation for those injuries.

Cars can safely drive near bicyclists if they obey the right-of-way laws when at crosswalks. A car must allow the bicyclist to cross the road at a crosswalk before they can continue. When approaching a bicyclist or a group of bicyclists traveling on the shoulder, a motorist should - when it is safe to do so - merge slightly to the left in order to give the bicyclist room to continue riding.

Motorists who do not give bicyclists enough room run the risk of hitting the bicyclists. This negligence of the safety of others on the road is considered reckless driving punishable as a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, the offender can face fines and up to one year in prison.

Contact an Elgin, IL Reckless Driving Lawyer

Sometimes it is not easy to determine who is at fault when a collision happens between a car and a bicyclist. If you or someone you know is facing reckless driving charges after a collision, the first thing to do is hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola who can study the case and make sure your rights are not being violated. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County reckless driving lawyer, call 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://rideillinois.org/new-illinois-bike-laws/

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a143.pdf

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