Under Illinois law, driving under the influence (DUI) begins with a suspicion of impaired driving by an officer. This often occurs through observation of a traffic violation or when responding to an automobile accident. A suspicion of intoxication may occur when an officer observes a driver’s behavior, physical appearance and demeanor. Generally, if an officer suspects a DUI has occurred the suspect will be asked to submit to a series of sobriety tests. Many individuals do not know that these can be refused.
If and when a driver is detained and charged with DUI, the accused is asked to take a breathalyzer test. This exam measures the blood alcohol content (BAC) and its results are admissible in a court of law. A person also has the right to refuse to take this examine. Should the BAC results be .08 or greater a DUI charge may proceed.
In general, a person detained for a DUI is released on bond and is given a court date. Additionally, notice is given that the accused’s driver’s license will be suspended within 46 days. If this is a first time DUI charge, the suspension will be for 6 months (if the BAC results were higher than the legal limit) or one year if the breathalyzer test was refused. If this is not a first time offense, the license suspension will be for one year (if the BAC results were above the legal limit) or three years if the breathalyzer test was refused. For these reasons, it is important to retain an aggressive Chicago DUI defense attorney if you or someone you know is facing these charges.
License Suspension Petition
Within 90 days of arrest a driver charged with DUI can petition the court to retract the license suspension. This hearing must occur within 30 days of the filing. Unlike the DUI charges, the suspension of a driver’s license is a civil matter and, as such, it is the driver’s burden to prove improper police procedure.
First time offenders may apply for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) in order to begin driving again. If the court grants the MDDP, a device is installed in the driver’s vehicle that measures the driver’s BAC. All costs for this are incurred by the driver.
Contact a Chicago DUI Attorney
If you or someone you know has been charged with driving under the influence or any other traffic offense, contact a knowledgeable Chicago DUI defense attorney today. With vast experience in defending individuals charged with DUI, attorney Steven Goldman has used innovative methods in the courtroom. Call (773) 484-3131 today to schedule your initial consultation.