Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a crime in the state of Illinois and requires the help of a competent Chicago drunk driving attorney. An Illinois DUI/DWI conviction may carry criminal penalties including fines, jail time, probation, and community service. The severity of these penalties will vary according to the circumstances of the offense. It’s crucial you speak with an Illinois DUI Lawyer or Chicago drunk driving attorney as soon as possible
In Chicago and Illinois in general, a driver is legally considered to be under the influence if they have a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more, have used any illegal substance, or are impaired by medication. So what are some common myths about Chicago drunk driving? Follow along as Fred Dry, an accomplished and intelligent Chicago drunk driving attorney and Illinois DUI lawyer explains in part one of this two-part series.
Chicago Drunk Driving Myth #1 – Everyone Accused of an Illinois DUI/DWI is Guilty
Everyone accused of a DUI or DWI is not guilty! Even in some cases where law enforcement uses a breath or blood test, a skillful Chicago drunk driving attorney or Illinois DUI lawyer can attack this evidence. Let’s quickly review how and why an officer can stop you and what information law enforcement will gather to determine if you are driving under the influence.
A police officer may stop a vehicle at a roadside safety check or for probable cause, reasonable suspicion or unusual operation. If the officer suspects the driver is under the influence, the officer may ask the driver to submit to field sobriety tests to determine the driver’s sobriety.
Field sobriety tests typically involve a police officer asking a driver to perform a number of tasks that assess any impairment of the person’s physical or cognitive ability. Examples may including having the driver walk in a straight line, heel to toe; having them recite the alphabet backwards; and the police officer’s use of the eye and penlight test. Recent studies have shown that these field tests are assumed to be valid. However, a competent Chicago drunk driving attorney can help show that most officers who administer these tests either administer the wrong test or improperly instruct the suspect on how to perform them.
Chemical tests can be conducted during the vehicle stop, using a Breathalyzer that measures a driver’s BAC, or at a hospital, where urine and blood tests can be performed. There are numerous ways to rebut the evidence gathered from these tests if the Chicago drunk driving attorney or Illinois DUI lawyer understands the science behind the test and the results, including what causes breath test machines to malfunction, that they can be non-specific for alcohol, and that blood tests may be subject to doubt. The most important fact to understand and for your Chicago drunk driving attorney to focus on is how blood alcohol testing machines work and how to effectively cross-examine the state’s chief witness — the operator of this device on the alleged accuracy of the machine.
Being skilled at obtaining the right data could help an Illinois DUI attorney position a pre-trial ruling that these tests and the alleged indications must be excluded from the evidence due to a lack of scientific foundation.
Chicago Drunk Driving Myth #2 – It’s Impossible to Win an Illinois DUI Case
It is possible to win an Illinois DUI case. Experienced Chicago drunk driving and Illinois DUI lawyers “win” — meaning charges are reduced to a lesser or different offense, or obtain a plea that avoids a conviction for a Chicago DUI/DWI. The outlook and possible outcome for an Illinois DUI case is better for many first time offenders when there is not evidence of a car accident or bad driving involved.
A person charged with DUI may face jail time and driver’s license revocation. A skilled Chicago drunk driving attorney or Illinois DUI lawyer who primarily deals with defending DUI cases will evaluate all the evidence, including the procedure and results of any field sobriety and chemical tests, to ensure that an individual’s legal rights are protected. The most important thing for a person to recognize is that they don’t ever want to lose their driving privileges or land in jail.