Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Why do you need a lawyer?
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a broad charge that encompasses many different situations from driving under the influence of alcohol, to driving under the influence of drugs, cannabis, or a combination of both.
DUI is different from most traffic offenses in that it is a criminal offense and it will most likely have an impact on your license regardless of whether it is a first offense or a subsequent offense.
What the prosecution must prove to find you guilty of DUI is determined by which specific statute your DUI is charged under. For example, the most common DUI is one based on alcohol. To prove an alcohol DUI the prosecutor must show beyond a reasonable doubt that you were in actual physical control of a motor vehicle (does not have to be on a roadway) at a time when you were impaired due to alcohol consumption. The prosecutor will use the evidence to try to prove their case. Typically their evidence will be the driving that the officer observed in conjunction with your performance on Standardized Field Sobriety Tests that the officer is trained to administer, as well as any physical observations they observe such as the smell of an alcoholic beverage emanating from your breath or vehicle, your speech, your body movements and reaction time, balance issues if you get out of your car, whether or not you had difficulty or fumbled while providing your license and registration, etc. The prosecutor will use all of these pieces to try to paint an overall picture that you were under the influence of alcohol. If you refuse to submit to field sobriety tests or refuse to answer the officer’s questions , that does not mean you can not be arrested for DUI. It does, however, limit the amount of evidence that the prosecutor has to use against you.
The second most often charged alcohol DUI in Illinois is when the driver agrees to provide a breath, blood, or urine sample. If that sample shows that the driver had a blood, breath, or urine concentration of .08 or greater at the time the driver was pulled over, then the driver could be found guilty of DUI. Not providing a blood, breath, or urine sample would preclude the prosecutor from proceeding on this charge. However, this is considered a refusal and there are consequences to your driver’s license and a refusal to provide a sample will suspend your license for a minimum of 1 year.
Please see below for the different types of DUI charges. It should be noted that certain events or factors can result in a DUI being enhanced from a misdemeanor to a felony. These factors include, but are not limited to:
- How many prior DUI offenses you have on your record. Out of state offense count.
- Whether you had an expired, revoked, or suspended driver’s license at the time of your DUI arrest.
- If you had never been issued a valid driver’s license at the time of your arrest.
- Whether you had valid insurance on the vehicle you were driving at the time of your DUI arrest.
- Whether you were involved in an accident that resulted in certain types of injuries.
- Whether you had passengers under the age of 16 at the time of the offense.
Each DUI is unique and it is a good idea to consult with an experienced DUI attorney that can help break down the arrest by each act. There are many things that the prosecutor must show and that can be successfully challenged at trial. For example, for field sobriety tests, did the officer correctly apply the tests as he or she was trained to do? If a breath sample was provided, was the breath machine properly calibrated and tested? Were the correct procedures administered by the officer when you provided the sample?
Please call or privately email me regarding your case for a free evaluation and consultation on what services I can provide to assist you.
Under the Influence of Alcohol 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(2)
The prosecutor must prove you were operating a motor vehicle at a time when you were impaired due to alcohol consumption.
Alcohol Condentration of .08 or Greater 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(1)
The prosecutor must show that your blood, breath, or urine alcohol concentration was .08 or greater at the time of your DUI arrest.
Under the Influence of an Intoxicating Compound 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(3)
The prosecutor must show that your impaired driving was caused by an intoxicating compound to a degree that rendered you incapable of driving safely. This is very difficult to prove and not commonly charged.
Under the Influence of Drugs 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(4)
The prosecutor must show that you were under the influence of a drug or combination of drugs to a degree that rendered you incapable of driving safely. This is difficult to prove if the arresting officer was not trained in drug recognition testing.
Under the Combined Influence of Alcohol and Drugs 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(5)
Similar to DUI drugs, the prosecutor needs to show that the combination of alcohol and drugs rendered you incapable of driving safely. The officer must be specially trained to detect this and render an opinion in court.
Unlawful Drugs in System 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(6)
Similar to the alcohol concentration DUI, if there is an illegal substance found in your blood, breath, or urine at the time of your DUI, this is all the prosecutor needs to prove this type of DUI.
THC in system within 2 hours of offense 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(7)
The prosecutor must show that in the driver’s blood or urine sample, there are 10 nanograms per milliliter or more of THC present within 2 hours of the time that the DUI offense occurred.