Whether a person  was out partying, or was simply enjoying evening drinks over a quiet meal, ending a night with DUI charges is never ideal. Being stopped on the side of the road by a police officer and taking sobriety field tests is not only embarrassing, but a DUI Charge may lead to license revocation, heavy fines and other penalties, jail time and conviction for a felony crime. A common misconception is that only “certain types” of people get DUI charges. However, as the Illinois news shows this week, even those who are least expected can wind up facing serious DUI charges.

Illinois Case

According to chicago.cbslocal.com, a 42-year-old school bus driver was arrested while she was driving her regular bus route on the morning of September 13. Officers pulled over school bus driver Jill Beebe after a fellow school employee reported to them that Ms. Beebe’s breath reeked of alcohol. After stopping Ms. Beebe, police officers conducted field sobriety tests and determined that she was driving while under the influence. ABClocal.com reports that Ms. Beebe was taken into custody and was charged with one count of aggravated DUI, a Class 4 felony. She was arraigned in DuPont County, where the judge set her bond at $100,000.

Illinois Criminal Law

Under Illinois laws, the charge of DUI generally is a Class A misdemeanor. A person is guilty of DUI if he or she drives while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, or any intoxicating compounds. A person is guilty of DUI if he or she drives without having control of his or her vehicle while either having a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or above or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs. Additionally, a person may be deemed to have been driving under the influence if any amount of a controlled substance, such as methamphetamine or marijuana, is found in the person’s urine. It is important to note that it is not a defense under Illinois law that a person was legally entitled to use the drugs or alcohol found in his or her system. If a person violates the DUI statute more than once, the penalties and consequences that he or she faces become much more severe.

Under Illinois laws, a person is guilty of aggravated DUI when he or she drives under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, and there are other factors present. Some of those factors include, but are not limited to: (1) having three or more DUI convictions at the time of the charge; (2) being involved in an accident at the time of the DUI which resulted in great bodily harm or disfigurement of another person; (3) being involved in a snowmobile or motorboat accident which resulted in the death of another person; driving with children under the age of 16 in the vehicle; and (4) driving a school bus with children under 18-years-old on board. Unless an exception exists under the statute, aggravated DUI is a Class 4 misdemeanor, punishable by significant jail time, fines, and penalties.

DUI charges can severely impact a person’s life, no matter who they are. If you have been charged with violating Illinois DUI laws, you should immediately contact an experienced DUI defense attorney. A DUI defense attorney can review the charges against you and can defend you in court. Contact the experienced DUI defense attorneys at Goldman & Associates today for a confidential consultation.