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DUI / Drunk Driving

Crystal Lake DUI /  Drunk Driving Lawyers

Attorneys Serving McHenry County & the Surrounding Areas

If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) in Illinois, you can’t afford to take a “wait and see” approach to the charges. Even a first offense can have serious consequences, including:

  • Jail time
  • A fine
  • Court costs
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Probation

A DUI conviction may have consequences that extend beyond legal penalties, as well. For example, even a misdemeanor DUI conviction may:

  • Disqualify you from certain types of employment
  • Trigger a significant increase in your automobile insurance rates

Criminal proceedings often move forward quickly, and you may lose your opportunity to raise certain defenses or present evidence in your own defense if you do not understand the complicated procedures and strict deadlines that may apply. So, you should connect with an experienced DUI lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest.

Illinois DUI Law

The most common basis for Illinois DUI convictions is that the driver was operating the vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater. This is sometimes referred to as a “per se” DUI, because the prosecution does not have to prove that the driver was impaired by alcohol—the BAC level is sufficient to sustain a conviction.

In some DUI cases, the prosecution will not have a BAC measurement to submit as evidence, and so the driver cannot be convicted on that basis. Some situations in which the state will be unable to prove that the defendant’s BAC was .08% or greater include:

  • When the defendant has refused a breathalyzer test
  • When the defendant’s BAC registered at less than .08%
  • When the defense attorney demonstrates that the equipment may have been faulty
  • When the defense attorney establishes that the test may not have been administered properly
  • When the defense attorney is able to suppress the BAC evidence because proper procedures were not followed or the police did not have probable cause

Under these circumstances, a driver may still be convicted of DUI if the prosecution can establish that:

  • The driver was under the influence of alcohol
  • The driver was under the influence of drugs, another intoxicating compound, or any combination of drugs, alcohol and other intoxicating compounds to the extent that he or she was incapable of driving safely, or
  • There is any amount of certain substances in the driver’s system, including:
    • Cannabis*
    • Controlled substances listed in the Illinois Controlled Substances Act
    • Intoxicating compounds listed in the Use of Intoxicating Compounds Act
    • Methamphetamine

*A driver authorized to use cannabis under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act is exempt from this provision unless his or her ability to drive was impaired by the use of cannabis

Evidence the prosecution may use to win a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol without an admissible BAC test result of .08% or greater includes the officer’s observations of:

  • Slurred speech
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Odor of alcohol
  • Failure of field sobriety tests

Obtaining a conviction with this type of evidence is more difficult, and the prosecution may be more open to offering a favorable plea agreement—or even dismiss charges—if the BAC result has been successfully challenged or excluded from evidence.

Contact an Experienced DUI Lawyer Today

The most effective defenses in a DUI case often involve legal technicalities and scientific evidence. An experienced DUI attorney can guide you through the complex criminal court systems. A DUI conviction can impact every area of your life, so you owe it to yourself to work with a seasoned professional who can:

  • Assess the evidence against you
  • Gather independent evidence
  • File motions to suppress and other technical motions
  • Ensure that all deadlines and procedural requirements are met
  • Negotiate with the prosecution
  • Fight the charges at trial

Contact us today for HELP and a consultation!