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What to Expect During an Illinois DUI Traffic Stop

Posted on in DUI Defense

IL DUI lawyerDriving after consumption of alcohol or drugs is a dangerous action. It can put the driver and those around him or her at risk of injuries or even death. This is why Illinois has strict penalties for those who choose to drive intoxicated.

Illinois State Police officers have the right to pull over any vehicle they suspect is being driven by a drunk driver. Signs that they look for are the car swerving across the road, braking and/or speeding suddenly for no reason, and misuse of car indicator lights.

The DUI Traffic Stop Process

Like any other traffic stop, the police officer will ask for the driver’s license and proof of insurance. They can also ask the driver if they are aware of what they have been stopped for. All the while, the officer is observing the condition of the driver. They are looking for signs that the driver is intoxicated:

  • Red, watery eyes
  • Slurred speech
  • Unable to follow directions
  • Alcohol smell on the breath
  • Open bottles in the vehicle

The officer might even ask the driver if they have had any drinks if they think there is a possibility for drunk driving. If the officer still has suspicions after making their initial observations, they can administer a field sobriety test.

This test determines if the officer has probable cause to make an arrest. Usually, there are three tests an officer will give the driver to check motor skills, coordination, and ability to follow directions. Alternatively, the officer can administer a preliminary alcohol screening; they will ask the driver to blow into a breathalyzer to determine blood alcohol content (BAC).

If the driver’s BAC is over the legal limit of 0.08, the officer can then make an arrest.

What Are the Punishments of DUI Convictions?

Once an arrest has been made, the drunk driver will be taken back to the police station and their car impounded. There, the driver will have a better evaluation of their intoxication level before charges are given out.

First and second DUI offenders will only face misdemeanor charges, but they can be elevated to felonies depending on the nature of the incident. Misdemeanor charges come with heavy fines, possible jail time, and possible community service hours.

Subsequent offenses are considered felonies with the punishments increasing in severity the more DUIs are added to the driver’s record. In all cases of DUI convictions, the driver will have their driving privileges revoked for an amount of time.

In cases where a victim of a drunk driver is injured or killed, the offending driver will be responsible for compensation of doctor bills or wrongful death charges.

Contact a Chicago, IL DUI Attorney

During a DUI traffic stop, drivers are allowed to refuse a field sobriety test, but that still comes with punishments in Illinois. In order to make sure your rights are not being compromised, alleged drunk drivers should hire a lawyer from the Luisi Legal Group. To schedule a free consultation with a Cook County DUI defense lawyer, call our office at 773-276-5541.

 

Sources:

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

https://www.dui-usa.drinkdriving.org/dui_dwi_information.php

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