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A  Portable Breath Test (PBT) is commonly used by police officers in the field to establish probable cause to arrest a driver for DUI. Recent Illinois caselaw says that a driver must have a choice to take or refuse a PBT. The driver must provide some form of consent prior to taking a PBT. Although the officer is not required to inform the driver that he or she may refuse the breath test, the driver must have a reasonable opportunity to do so.

In People v. Taylor (2016 IL App (2d) 150634), the defendant was given less than 2 seconds after being told “what I want you to do is take a deep breath and blow…” to question what he was being told by the officer before the officer placed the device at a minimum within 1-2 inches of the driver’s mouth. In fact, the officer testified that he placed the stem of the device directly in the driver’s mouth. The Court found that this did not present the driver with a reasonable opportunity to refuse the test. As a result, the court suppressed the result of the PBT based on noncompliance with the PBT statute.

While a portable breath test may be used to establish probable cause, a PBT result is not admissible evidence at trial. It should be noted that additional procedures must be followed for the use of an evidentiary breath test offered at the police station, which may be admissible at trial.

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“Second chance probation” is a sentence in Illinois that allows certain offenders to clear a conviction from their record after serving at least two-years of probation (730 ILCS 5/5-6-3.4). This law, which became effective January 1, 2014, allows the court to sentence the defendant to probation without entering a judgement. Those who have previously been convicted (i.e. probation or conditional discharge) of any felony offense are not eligible for this sentence. In addition, this sentence is not available for violent offenders or defendants who have previously plead guilty or who have been found guilty of a violent offense. Second Chance Probation may be offered to defendants charged with certain probationable felony offenses such as possession of a controlled substance, possession of cannabis, theft, retail theft, and criminal damage to property.

When a defendant is sentenced to Second Chance Probation, the court will order a minimum period of 24-months probation and defer any further proceedings. Defendants sentenced to Second Chance Probation, in addition to other conditions, may not violate any criminal statute, may not possess a firearm, must make restitution if required, must obtain or attempt to obtain employment, must pay fines and costs, must attend educational courses, must submit to periodic drug testing, and must perform a minimum of 30 hours of community service.

If successful, the court will discharge the defendant and dismiss the proceedings. The defendant may be eligible for expungement of the arrest after 5 years.

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Illinois law allows drivers relocating to Illinois to drive on their valid driver’s license from their home country or state for ninety (90) days. CDL holders have a reduced window of thirty (30) days to obtain an Illinois CDL. “International driver’s licenses” are not valid in the State of Illinois. International driving permits are issued by the driver’s home country and simply translate the foreign license to make it easier for United State’s officials to read. However, international driving permits still fall under the same rules as foreign driver’s licenses and are only valid for ninety (90) days.

Students at Illinois colleges and universities are allowed to drive on a valid driver’s license from their country or home state while enrolled in school. This is also true for the spouse and/or children of students.

International students who wish to obtain an Illinois driver’s license may be eligible to do so. Students with a valid social security number may apply for an Illinois driver’s license. Students without social security numbers may apply for a Temporary Visitor’s Driver’s License (TVDL). TVDLs are issued by the Illinois Secretary of State to those persons unable to obtain a social security number. It is important to note that TVDLs cannot be used for identification purposes.

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The Chicago Police Department’s “DUI Strike Force” will be patrolling Wrigleyville and Boystown from 7 P.M. on August 19 through 3 A.M. on August 20. According to the news release put out by the Chicago Police Department, the purpose of the “DUI Strike Force” is to “saturate a pre-designated area with roving police officers that continually monitor vehicular traffic for signs of impaired driving.” The force will also focus on speeding and seatbelt violations. There will be a mobile unit on-hand to conduct Breath Alcohol Tests to speed up the arrests.

If you are charged with DUI in Chicago, your case will likely be heard at the Daley Center Courthouse. Illinois DUI law is extremely complex and it is best you consult an experienced DUI attorney for help with your case. Feel free to contact our firm if you require legal assistance for DUI, or any other criminal offense.

Police Will Be Patrolling Wrigleyville For DUIS This Weekend, August 18, 2016, www.chicagoist.com

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Governor Rauner has signed into law a change to the Illinois DUI law involving driving while under the influence of cannabis (marijuana).

Until this change, it was illegal to drive with any amount of cannabis in a person’s system. It did not make any difference if the person was under the influence or impaired by the drug. Additionally, the law did not distinguish between the active ingredient in cannabis (THC) and the inactive ingredient (THC-COOH). It is only the active ingredient that causes impairment. This law was commonly referred to as a ‘zero-tolerance’ DUI law.

Under the new law, it is no longer illegal to drive with cannabis in your system unless you are impaired (under the influence) by the substance. Basically, there are two ways a person can be found guilty under the new law:

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Under Illinois law, the state’s attorney may petition on behalf of a local law enforcement agency, for the seizure of an automotive vehicle when it is used in the commission of any serious felony crime. Whether the petition is granted is solely in the judge’s discretion. In addition to drug crimes, cars may be seized for DUI, driving on a revoked license based on DUI, gambling and stalking. Of the 126 vehicles seized by the Naperville Police Department between 2012 and 2015, only 26 were involved in drug crimes.

Seized vehicles are typically sold at auction but may be used in undercover operations or training. Auction proceeds go to the police department responsible for the arrest as well as the municipality or county where the arrest occurred. Naperville made almost $170,000 off of the cars seized between 2012 and 2015, with almost $17,000 going to the police department.

Last year alone, DuPage County seized 405 vehicles. So far this year, DuPage has seized 189 vehicles, according to a spokesman for the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office.

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Construction is underway on a new eight-story criminal court at the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan, Illinois. The new 200,000 square foot building is set to be completed by June 2018. The courthouse has not been expanded since 1989. It will include 12 new courtrooms and a walkway to the main courthouse. There is still some uncertainty as to the use of the top two floors.

The new building will also have an underground tunnel, which will allow inmates to be transported to the courthouse more efficiently. The Babcock Justice Center, which houses the county jail, is also slated for updates of the intake and booking areas and kitchen and dining areas which is scheduled to be completed in 2019. No additional jail cells will be added.

The Lake County Bar Association has expressed concerns over the current state of the courthouse including the safety and security of witnesses and privacy for meetings between attorneys and clients.

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A new pilot program in Lake County offers treatment, rather than jail time for those struggling with drug abuse or addition. “A Way Out” is an initiative that will allow individuals that may be in possession of narcotics or paraphernalia to go to participating police departments requesting treatment. In exchange for their participation in the program, there will not be any criminal charges filed against them. The participants will be connected with the appropriate treatment facility immediately and the police may even provide their transportation to the facility.

A few participants have already entered the program after arriving at police stations asking for help. They were then transported to treatment facilities, mainly for opioid addiction.

Every three to six months, the program will be evaluated, changes will be made accordingly and additional police departments will be added.

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Two new bills, which will make it easier for individuals with a criminal record to obtain employment, are now awaiting the signature of Governor Rauner. Under HB 5793, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation would be prohibited from barring criminals from working in certain fields, such as barbering, roofing and cosmetology, unless their crimes directly relate to the occupation for which they are trying to obtain a license. Simply put, it will be much easier for individuals with a criminal record to obtain occupational licenses. This is especially important since approximately 25% of Illinois residents need an occupational license to perform in their trade. The second bill will help individuals with criminal records obtain a license to work in healthcare.

Under current law, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation can deny occupational licenses to individuals with criminal records. Illinois provides for more than 100 licenses which may or must be denied because of a felony arrest, or sometimes even a misdemeanor.

New Bills Will Make It Easier For Felons to Find Work, www.wbez.org, June 1, 2016

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By the end of July 2016, Illinois driver’s licenses and ID cards will no longer be issued at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Instead, the DMV will be issuing temporary paper cards with a photo on it, which the applicant will have for 45 days while multiple fraud checks are being performed at an off-site state facility. The new cards will be equipped with anti-counterfeiting security that will help prevent individuals from using another’s identity. After these changes are put into place, Illinois will be 84 percent compliant with the federal mandate, REAL ID, which is designed to prevent fraud and identity theft. The new license and ID cards will have a new, upgraded design as well.

Illinois Rolls Out New Design, Process for Obtaining Licenses, State ID Cards, www. nbcchicago.com, May 17, 2016

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