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Rolling Meadows DUI Lawyer

Rolling Meadows DUI Defense Lawyer

Driving Under the Influence Defense Attorney with Offices in Oakbrook Terrace, Rolling Meadows, and Chicago

Everybody knows that drinking and driving is against the law, yet thousands of people get caught doing it every year. Illinois law enforcement is very tough on those who operate a motor vehicle--including boats and snowmobiles as well as cars, trucks, and commercial vehicles--while under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs.

At Hartsfield Law, we understand the severity of even an arrest for DUI, much less a conviction. Just for failing a blood-alcohol test, you stand to lose your license for months. If convicted, you could face jail time, probation, and hefty fines. If you rely on driving to earn a living, particularly if you hold a Commercial Driver's License (CDL), then a DUI conviction could force you to change careers as well.

Fortunately, there are many ways to turn the situation around. With the help of a skilled defense attorney who works in and understands the laws in the county where you were arrested, you could save your driving privileges and avoid having a DUI conviction on your permanent record.

Illinois Definition of Driving Under the Influence

Driving Under the Influence is defined as operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or other intoxicants. When a police officer has reasonable cause to suspect someone of driving under the influence, the driver will be arrested and is then required by law to submit to chemical testing. A driver is automatically considered to be driving impaired, and to have failed testing, if testing shows:

  • A Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, typically measured by a breathalyzer or blood test.
  • A THC level of 5 nanograms per milliliter of whole blood or higher, or 10 nanograms or more per milliliter of another bodily substance such as saliva or urine. Registered Illinois medical cannabis users are exempt from this standard and are instead required to perform standardized field sobriety tests.
  • Any trace of illegal drugs (e.g., cocaine, heroin, meth) as measured in blood, urine, or saliva.

A driver can also be charged with DUI if they:

  • Have a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of more than .05 but less than .08, in combination with additional evidence of impairment.
  • Are driving impaired by legal prescription or over-the-counter medications, or any combination of intoxicants.

How DUI Affects Your Illinois Driver's License

If a driver refuses testing, or fails testing as defined above, the police will immediately issue the driver a suspension notice. Failure results in a six-month suspension for the first offense; refusal results in a 12-month suspension. This is known as a statutory summary suspension, and it takes effect on the 46th day from the date of the suspension notice. An offender is entitled to a judicial hearing to challenge the suspension, which takes place in the Circuit Court for the county where the DUI arrest took place.

This administrative sanction is separate from the criminal penalties you face if convicted of DUI. The statutory suspension holds even if you are not ultimately convicted of DUI, unless a judicial hearing challenge of the suspension is successful.

Penalties if Convicted of DUI in Illinois

Illinois classifies a first-time DUI as a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, the maximum punishment is imprisonment for up to one year and a fine of no more than $2,500. In addition, your driver's license will be revoked for a minimum of one year, or two years if under age 21 at the time of arrest. The period of any statutory summary suspension already served will be credited toward the period of revocation.

First-time DUI offenders are eligible for a sentence of court supervision, but repeat offenders are not. If you fulfill all the requirements of the supervision, which typically lasts one year, you will not have a DUI conviction on your record.

A Rolling Meadows DUI Defense Lawyer Can Help

The penalties for drunk driving in Illinois are severe and long-lasting. If you were arrested for DUI in Cook County or DuPage County, our Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, with offices in Chicago and Oakbrook Terrace, can help. For a free consultation, call Hartsfield Law at 312-345-1700.

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