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Posted on in DUI

drunk driving, Lake County criminal defense attorneyIt is easy to blame things such as entertainment and the media for the way drunk driving is portrayed and at times glamorized in our society. There is no denying that underage drivers in particular often see buzzed driving, which is a form of driving under the influence, as an acceptable thing--something everyone does, therefore it must not be a serious crime.

It Could Happen to You

The real problem is rooted in our perception of the crime, however. It is not uncommon for offenders of all ages and walks of life to view arrests associated with drunk driving as something that happens to everyone else, but not to them. Only when they are pulled over and arrested for the crime themselves do they understand the severity of the offense.

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Posted on in DUI

refusing a BAC test, Skokie criminal defense attorneyWhen you get behind the wheel of a car or truck on Illinois roadways, you, of course, maintain certain rights, but you also assume certain responsibilities. While you may not be able to control the actions of other drivers, you have the responsibility to operate your vehicle in a manner that promotes safety to both other individuals and public at large. Safe driving means that, among other considerations, you are not impaired by alcohol, drugs, or other substances. As such, Illinois law maintains that by exercising your driving privileges, you are granting implied consent to blood-alcohol content (BAC) testing whenever it deemed to be appropriate by law enforcement. If you are asked to submit to a BAC test, including breathalyzer testing, refusing to cooperate will cost you your driving privileges.

Separate From Criminal Prosecution

Technically, refusing a BAC test is not a crime, but that does not mean you cannot be punished. Based upon the state’s implied consent laws, refusing a test is an administrative offense for which the penalties are imposed by the Secretary of State’s Office. Any administrative penalty is in addition to those that could result from eventual prosecution on charges of driving under the influence.

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ignition interlock, summary suspension, Lake County criminal defense attorneyDrunk driving may, in some ways, be a relic of the past—it is not common for a person to get behind the wheel of car when he or she has been drinking and to not recognize that what he or she is doing is illegal and dangerous. Awareness about the danger and irresponsibility of drunk driving has steadily increased since the early 1990s when states began to launch serious campaigns to deter drunk drivers and police forces around the country cracked down on drunk driving offenses. Yet the problem has not, to any real extent, been eradicated, and in fact, numbers tend to fluctuate from year to year. In 2012, for example, there was a significant increase in the number of fatalities resulting from drunk driving, that after 2011 when the death toll fell below 10,000 for the first time.

That year saw a 3.3 percent increase in fatalities, causing some activists to call for ignition interlock devices to be installed in the car of every convicted drunk driver across the country. In Illinois, a person convicted of drunk driving may apply, during the period of statutory summary suspension of his or her driving privileges, for driving relief, and choose to have a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) installed in his or her vehicle. If a person convicted of drunk driving chooses to have the BAIID installed in his vehicle during that period of license suspension, there are no other stipulations regarding his driving rights—he is allowed to travel, even interstate, providing that the BAIID is installed.

Not all convicted drunk drivers are required to install the BAIID, however. A person may opt to adhere to the mandatory suspension period. Yet if the person is then caught driving the vehicle, whether or not he has been drinking, he is guilty of a Class 4 felony. Punishment, if you are a convicted drunk driver and caught driving without an ignition interlock device during the license suspension period, includes possible imprisonment of 1–3 years, a minimum of 30 days in jail or 300 hours of community service, and fines as high as $25,000.

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Posted on in DUI

permit, RDP, MDDP, Lake County Criminal Defense AttorneyWhen you have lost your driving privileges due to a conviction on charges of driving under the influence (DUI), your life can be greatly affected. You may struggle with maintaining employment, continuing your education, and even caring for family members in need. Depending upon the circumstances of your case, however, you may be eligible for partial relief in the form of a Monitoring Device Driving Permit or a Restricted Driving Permit which may allow you to resume some of your normal activities.

Monitoring Device Driving Permits

The state of Illinois offers two different forms of driving relief for those whose driving privileges have been suspended or revoked related to a DUI. The first is called a Monitoring Device Driving Permit, or MDDP, which is available for almost all first-time offenders during the period of statutory summary suspension for failing or refusing a chemical test for blood alcohol content. The MDDP allows a driver to operate a vehicle at any time, in any place, as long the vehicle is properly equipped with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID). The MDDP, however, must be surrendered upon conviction on DUI charges, as the conviction typically results in the revocation of driving privileges, not just a suspension.

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Posted on in DUI

suspension, Illinois law, Illinois criminal defense attorneyNearly everyone understands the driving under the influence is against the law, and a DUI conviction can lead to serious criminal consequences. What many may not realize, however, is that certain administrative penalties may also be imposed by the state, regardless of the outcome of DUI criminal proceedings. The most significant of such penalties is the statutory summary suspension of driving privileges which, in Illinois, is handled by the Office of the Secretary of State.

When Suspensions May Be Imposed

If you have been pulled over on suspicion of DUI, there are several situations in which you could automatically have your driver’s license suspended. The length of the statutory suspension is dependent on your choices and your previous history of DUI-related suspensions. Your license will be automatically suspended if you:

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