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IL DUI attorneyWhile we have seen national campaigns designed to combat driving under the influence of alcohol for decades, the concept of drug DUIs is fairly new in the public consciousness. Since the legalization of medical marijuana and recreational cannabis in a growing number of states, law enforcement has been forced to adjust.

That includes in Illinois, where medical cannabis was legalized in 2013. There are now approximately 40,000 medicinal users registered through the Illinois Department of Public Health, in addition to thousands of unregistered recreational users throughout the state. Like alcohol, there are strict rules in place to limit the frequency of marijuana DUI.

Cannabis DUI in Illinois

Illinois law states medical marijuana users may not drive under the influence of cannabis, and they must transport it in a sealed container that is not accessible while the automobile is moving. If a licensed patient or any citizen is pulled over, and the officer believes the driver is impaired by cannabis, they must submit to field sobriety testing. Refusal or test failure results in a driver’s license suspension and possible revocation of their medical marijuana card.

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IL defense lawyerIn recent years, police officers have been more strict on how they handle DUI cases -- and for good reason. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 10,874 people who died in alcohol-related car crashes in 2017. Because of this, penalties for DUI convictions and even arrests can be quite severe.

If an officer pulls you over because he or she thinks you may be under the influence, the officer will probably ask you to step out of your vehicle. They will also probably ask you to submit to a number of field sobriety tests, which is how they gain sufficient evidence to arrest you for DUI. If you are arrested on suspicion of DUI, you will be asked to submit to a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Refusing to submit to the chemical test can mean you will be subject to penalties.

Illinois Implied Consent

Most states have an implied consent law and Illinois is no exception. According to Illinois law, any person who is in actual physical control of a vehicle on Illinois roads has been deemed to have consented to give a sample of blood, breath or urine to test for their BAC or traces of drugs if they have been arrested for DUI. The arresting officer must have had probable cause to arrest the person.

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IL DUI lawyerThere are many ways that you can lose your driving privileges in Illinois -- not paying child support, not taking care of parking tickets and not paying toll fees. However, the most common way Illinoisans lose their driving privileges is by being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or related charges. In Illinois, you are subject to an administrative license suspension, in addition to any criminal suspensions you may face. Failing a chemical test to measure your blood-alcohol content (BAC) and refusing to take a chemical test are two common DUI-related charges that result in a loss of driving privileges. In order to get your driving privileges back, you will have to attend an informal or formal hearing at the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.

Informal Hearings

If your driver’s license was suspended or revoked due to a DUI-related charge or conviction that did not involve a fatality and this was your first DUI, you do not have to attend a formal hearing and can attend an informal hearing. Informal hearings are held at certain driver services facilities throughout the state on a walk-in basis. You will provide the hearing office with all applicable documentation, which will then be sent to the main office in Springfield. The main office will mail you a letter stating the outcome of the hearing, which can be either a denial, a restricted driving permit or a full reinstatement of your driving privileges.

Formal Hearings

If this is not your first DUI disposition or your DUI charge involved a fatality, you will be required to attend a formal administrative hearing. You must mail in a written request for a hearing, which will take place at administrative buildings in either Springfield, Chicago, Joliet, or Mt. Vernon. During the hearing, a hearing officer will listen to all testimony, review all documentation and examine all evidence and witnesses. The hearing officer will then issue a recommendation based on all of that information.

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IL DUI lawyerSeeing flashing red and blue lights in your rearview mirror usually causes panic or a sinking feeling of dread. If a police officer pulls you over because he or she suspects that you may have been drinking, you probably did something that caught their attention, which could have been as simple as forgetting to use your blinker while you were turning or as serious as swerving in and out of your lane. Most DUI stops in Illinois will follow the same procedure, but can vary depending on the individual officer and police department they are with. Being pulled over can be scary, but if you know what to expect, it can be a little less intimidating.

Timeline of a DUI Arrest

  • You could have been stopped at a routine roadside safety check, or the officer could be stopping you because they have probable cause or reasonable suspicion that you are under the influence. Most of the time you will have broken a traffic law in some way.
  • Once the officer has pulled you over, he will begin observing you while he asks for your license, registration, and proof of insurance. Most of the time he will be able to tell whether or not you are under the influence of alcohol from this observation.
  • If he thinks that you may be under the influence, he will ask you to get out of your vehicle to perform a couple field sobriety tests. If he does not think you are under the influence, he will let you go.
  • The officer will then conduct various field sobriety tests, which can be both standardized and non-standardized. The most common field sobriety tests used are the walk-and-turn test, the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, and the one-leg stand test.
  • If you failed any of the field sobriety tests, the officer has gained probable cause and will then place you under arrest for DUI and take you to the police station where you will be asked to submit to chemical testing of your breath, blood or urine.
  • If you refuse to submit to chemical testing or you fail the chemical test, you will be subject to a statutory summary suspension.
  • If your driver’s license is valid, you will receive a receipt which allows you to drive for the next 45 days. After those 45 days, the statutory summary suspension will go into effect.
  • You will be required to post bond or you may be kept in police custody until bond is posted. Your vehicle may also be impounded, towed or seized.

Are You Facing DUI Charges? A Skilled Chicago DUI Defense Lawyer Is Your Answer

What you do after you are arrested for DUI is of the utmost importance. If you will be subject to a statutory summary suspension, you only have 45 days until that goes into effect. Discussing your case with a Skokie DUI defense lawyer can help you figure out what your best plan of action is. Your next step should be to contact the Luisi Legal Group to see how our skilled attorneys can represent you and help you minimize the impact this will have on your life. Call the office at 773-276-5541 to set up a consultation.

 

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style=When you get your driver’s license in Illinois, you are agreeing to a number of things, such as carrying insurance when you drive, obeying all traffic laws and driving in a safe manner. What some Illinois drivers may not know is that when they obtain a driver’s license, they are also giving their implied consent to be subject to a chemical test, such as a test of the blood, breath, urine or other bodily substance, which is used to determine whether or not the driver is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. When drivers are arrested for DUI and refuse to submit to these tests, they are subject to a statutory summary suspension of their driving privileges.

What Is a Statutory Summary Suspension?

In Illinois, when a driver is arrested for DUI and refuses to submit to chemical testing or fails a chemical test, he or she will automatically have their driving privileges suspended. Failing a test means that their blood-alcohol content (BAC) measured at a .08 or over or the THC content was either 5 or more nanograms per milliliter of blood or 10 nanograms or more per milliliter of another bodily substance. A statutory suspension is not a punishment for a DUI conviction--consequences for a conviction would be added to the suspension. Even if you challenge the arrest in court, the suspension is still in effect.

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