A drinking and driving charge can haunt you for the rest of your life, so make sure you have the best Skokie DUI lawyer ready to defend your rights. Illinois law can be very strict when it comes to penalties for a DUI conviction, so trying to go through the legal process on your own can lead to potentially dire consequences that could negatively impact your future. That is why it can be so vitally important to find a skilled Skokie DUI Lawyer to help provide you with the defense that you need in your case.
Drunk Driving through Skokie, IL
As a suburb of Chicago, Skokie can get a lot of traffic. Illinois boasts having some of the safest roadways all across the nation, and this is in part due to their strict enforcement of DUI laws. Over 200 people are arrested for DUI in Skokie annually, which places Skokie among the top five cities in Illinois for DUI arrests year after year. However, towns in Lake County have slightly higher DUI arrests. Although many people who live, work, or travel to Skokie are arrested for DUI, an arrest can result in no charges being filed, a dismissal of charges, diversion, or an acquittal after trial. Our Skokie DUI Attorneys have successfully represented hundreds of people facing intoxication-related driving charges.
What to Do If You Are Stopped by the Police after Consuming Drugs or Alcohol
If you are pulled over by a Skokie police officer after ingesting drugs or alcohol, the actions you take can significantly impact the potential outcome of your DUI case. During this stressful period, a motorist should remain calm and understand their power to “just say no.” Although you are required to provide your license, registration, and proof of insurance during a police stop, Illinois law does not require that you answer questions about your activities, alcohol consumption, or related matters. The prospect of refusing to cooperate with an armed police officer with the power of arrest can be a daunting prospect, but you have the right to refuse to answer questions and to decline to participation in Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) or roadside breath tests.
Generally, the questioned asked and these preliminary screening methods are designed to create probable cause for a DUI arrest, so you should exercise your power to say no unless you are absolutely certain you are not intoxicated and have not ingested any drug. While you will not prevent a DUI arrest by refusing to submit to FSTs or a preliminary breath test (PTB), the officer will have less evidence to support probable cause for a DUI arrest, and the prosecutor will have less evidence at trial.
Further, you cannot be punished for exercising your rights to refuse these preliminary alcohol screening tests or decline to answer questions about your drinking activity. However, the officer and prosecutor might still move forward based on observations of your driving activity prior to the stop or indicia of intoxication during the stop, such as bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, lack of coordination, unsteady gait, and/or the odor of alcohol on your breath. However, this type of evidence typically is less persuasive than failed FSTs or admissions that you were intoxicated.
Refusal of Chemical Testing of Blood, Breath, or Urine (Illinois Implied Consent Law)
If a Skokie Police Officer or other law enforcement authority has probable cause for a DUI arrest, the officer will take a driver into custody and request the motorist submit to formal testing of breath, blood or urine at the police station. Under Illinois law, an individual will face a mandatory administrative driver’s license suspension for refusing a BAC chemical test or failing such a test.
If a driver refuses a formal chemical test (as opposed to a roadside preliminary test) following a lawful arrest, the motorist’s driver’s license suspension will be twice as long as a failed test. A first refusal results in an administrative driver’s license suspension of one year for a first offense as opposed to six months for a failed DUI test with a BAC of .08 percent or above. A 2nd chemical test refusal will result in a 3 year driver’s license suspension whereas a second BAC testing failure will only result in a one year suspension. IMPORTANT: If you have been arrested for DUI, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended on the 46th day following the arrest unless the suspension is successfully appealed by submitting a written request to the Secretary of State.
At the time of arrest, the officer will confiscate a motorist’s driver’s license and provide a Notice of Summary Suspension. A motorist arrested for DUI in Skokie or the surrounding areas should speak to an attorney promptly to protect his or her driving privileges because the suspension will remain in effect if a timely Petition to Rescind Statutory Summary Suspension is not filed. Our Skokie DUI Defense Lawyers have helped many people retain their driving privileges with successful appeals.
How Our Legal Team Can Help You
Our Skokie Drunk Driving Defense Lawyers investigate the entire timeline of our client’s encounter with the police from the moment an officer begins following a motorist to the time the officer attempts to obtain a formal chemical test of blood or breath back at the police station. After a careful review and analysis of the facts and circumstances, our experienced Skokie DUI attorneys might utilize a range of defense, such as:
- Insufficient evidence to justify the initial stop;
- Challenging the officer’s observations of a motorist’s driving and during the stop;
- Explaining the inherent unreliability of field sobriety tests (FSTs);
- Exposing improper procedures and scoring of FSTs;
- Attacking evidence as insufficient to support probable cause for a DUI arrest;
- Providing alternative explanations for performing poorly during FSTs, such as illness, injury, low blood sugar, darkness, lack of sleep, proximity to traffic, improper clothing/footwear, lack of dexterity, poor balance or coordination, physical or mental disabilities, and other relevant facts;
- Revealing officer’s lack of training in evaluating FSTs and/or drug impairment;
- Improper handling of blood samples, such as inadequate mixing of chemicals, expired chemicals, exposure to extreme temperatures, or untrained person performing the blood draw;
- Lab errors and contamination;
- Lack of calibration of breath test devices;
- Failure to properly provide and monitor twenty minute observation period prior to a breath test; and
- Attacking the credibility of witness testimony, including the arresting officer.
What are the Penalties for Drivers 21 and over who have been charged with a DUI
Our Skokie DUI attorneys will fight to prevent a conviction and license suspension. The consequences of losing a DUI charge are severe:
First DUI conviction in Skokie, Illinois – If you are convicted of a DUI in Skokie, Illinois and it is your first offense, you face a minimum of a one year suspension of your driver’s license, a fine of up to $2,500 and the possibility of imprisonment for up to one year.
Second DUI conviction in Skokie, Illinois – If you are convicted of a DUI in Skokie, Illinois and it is your second offense, you face a minimum of a five year suspension of your driver’s license, a fine of up to $2,500 and must either be imprisoned for five days or serve 240 hours of community service. You will also face the possibility of imprisonment for up to one year.
Third DUI conviction in Skokie, Illinois – If you are convicted of a DUI in Skokie, Illinois and it is your third offense, you will face some very severe consequences. You will lose your driver’s license for a minimum of 10 years, you will be imprisoned for a minimum of 18 – 30 months and may face imprisonment for up to seven years. You will also be subject to a significant fine, which may be as much as $25,000.
Drivers under 21 who have been charged with a DUI
In Skokie, Illinois and throughout the U.S., alcohol consumption is illegal if you are not 21 years old or older. Because underage drinking is illegal, the penalties for a DUI when you are under 21 are even more serious than they are for someone who is over 21.
First DUI conviction in Skokie, Illinois if you are under 21 – If you are convicted of driving under the influence when you are under 21, you will lose your driver’s license for a minimum of 2 years. You will also face the potential of up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
Second DUI conviction in Skokie, Illinois if you are under 21 – If you are convicted of driving under the influence for a second time when you are under 21 you will lose your license for a minimum of five years. You will be imprisoned for 5 days or forced to perform 240 hours of community service. You may also face a maximum fine of $2,500 and may be forced to serve up to a year in prison.
Third DUI conviction in Skokie, Illinois if you are under 21 – If you are convicted of driving under the influence for a third time in Skokie Illinois, you face the same consequences as someone who was of age. This means that you will lose your driver’s license for a minimum of 10 years, you will be imprisoned for a minimum of 18 – 30 months and may face imprisonment for up to seven years. You will also be subject to a significant fine, which may be as much as $25,000.
An aggravated DUI is a DUI that involves an accident that caused great bodily injury or permanent disfigurement. If you were intoxicated and caused an accident that led to a serious injury or disfigurement you could be facing some very serious consequences including:
- The loss of your driver’s license for 1 year,
- 10 days imprisonment or 480 hours of community service,
- A maximum fine of up to $25,000, and
- Imprisonment up to 12 years.
Regardless of the charge you are facing and whether or not this is your first DUI, our Skokie DUI lawyers can help.
Don’t Take Chances with Your Future
Protect your life and your freedom by working with an experienced Skokie DUI attorney from Goldman & Associates. We will give your case the attention that is necessary to ensure that your rights are protected. We are ready to take your call day or night. Make your phone call count and dial us up at Goldman & Associates at 773-484-3131 or 847-215-2600. We look forward to assisting you.