Articles Posted in Criminal Defense

What is Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)?

Our clients facing Illinois DUI charges often ask us to explain Blood Alcohol Concentration (often referred to as Blood Alcohol Content or BAC). BAC is most commonly used as a measure of alcohol intoxication for legal purposes.

BAC is usually expressed as a percentage of ethanol in the blood in units of mass of alcohol per volume of blood. For example, a BAC of 0.08 means that there are 0.08 g of alcohol for every deciliter (100 milliliters) of blood.

The Illinois Secretary of State is cancelling large numbers of driver’s licenses and state IDs due to fraud. The Secretary of State processes and compares the photos of anyone who applies for or renews a driver’s license or state ID in a central digital database. Therefore, if you obtained a license or ID under a false name, date of birth or social security number, there is a high probability that the Secretary of State’s facial recognition system will flag your application.

While you may initially leave the facility with a temporary permit (paper license), the official plastic license or ID may never arrive. Months later, in it’s place, you may receive a Notice of Cancellation which indicates that you “committed a fraudulent offense in the making of an application” directing you to contact the Illinois Secretary of State Fraudulent Review Unit. In turn, the matter is turned over to a Secretary of State Police investigator. At that time, an in-person interview may be required.

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It isn’t unusual for the lawyers at The Davis Law Group, P.C. to work with individuals who committed the fraudulent offense a decade or two ago. These individuals may have previously renewed their driver’s license multiple times without any issues. The technology has changed over the years and allowed even very old instances of fraud to be uncovered.

The DUI defense attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. often represent clients who were trying to be responsible and “sleep it off.” Unfortunately, this area of Illinois law is complex. In Illinois, it is unlawful for a person to be driving OR in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence.

Under Illinois law, the phrase “actual physical control” means that a person was in the vehicle with the ignition key and able to exercise physical control over the vehicle by starting the engine and causing the vehicle to move. It is not necessary that you be actually driving the vehicle.

This means if you are in your car and have the “ability” to start the car and cause it to move, you can be charged with DUI. If the car is parked, the engine is off, the keys are on the floorboard, and you are asleep, you still may be considered to have the “ability” to start the engine and cause the car to move.

Have you ever wondered what happens during a DUI arrest? While every DUI is different and varies based on a variety of factors, the following is a typical scenario for a DUI stop in Illinois:

  1. First, a police officer requests that the driver pulls over their vehicle. This can be a part of a DUI checkpoint, roadside safety check, response to a reported accident, traffic violation or if the officer has other reasonable cause or suspicion that the driver is under the influence (for more info, see our article Reasonable Suspicion and Probable Cause).

  2. The driver is asked to produce a valid driver’s license, car registration, and proof of insurance.


A DUI arrest can be a frightening experience. Criminal penalties, high fines and a loss a driving privileges can have a devastating effect on your personal and professional life.

The Davis Law Group, P.C. is recognized as a leading Illinois DUI defense firm. Our attorneys will analyze the facts of your case and determine the most appropriate strategy to ensure the best possible result. Our legal team’s unique and personalized approach focuses on our clients’ specific needs. We are here to help.

The DUI defense attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. represent clients facing DUI charges throughout Illinois and the Chicagoland area. We primarily accept DUI cases in Cook County, Lake County and DuPage County. This includes Skokie Courthouse, Rolling Meadows Courthouse, The Daley Center, Bridgeview Courthouse, Markham Courthouse, Maywood Courthouse, Leighton Criminal Courts Building at 26th & California, the DuPage County Courthouse in Wheaton, and the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan.

There are a number of DUI and traffic-related proposals currently pending in the 2018 Illinois legislature. These are a few highlights of those bills, which deserve close attention:

Traffic Ticket Fine Waiver Program

Fines, fees and costs for minor traffic offenses could be excused for a defendant who is unable to pay. Upon application, the court may convert all of the obligation to community service or partially excuse payment without condition.

In addition to losing driving privileges and facing potential jail time, DUI offenders in Illinois may also have their vehicle seized through a procedure known as civil forfeiture.

Under Illinois law (see 720 ILCS 5/36-1), any vehicle may be seized and impounded by a law enforcement agency if the vehicle was driven by someone who was under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and/or an intoxicating compound(s), with the knowledge and consent of the owner of the vehicle, and at the time of the offense one of the following is true:

  • the driver’s driving privileges were revoked or suspended for either:

Court supervision is a sentence available once in a person’s lifetime for driving under the influence (DUI) in Illinois. It is the best possible result aside from dismissal or a finding on ‘not guilty’ after trial on a misdemeanor offense. Court supervision is not an available sentencing option for felony offenses.

If completed successfully, court supervision will prevent the entry of a conviction on the defendant’s public record. Under Illinois law, 730 ILCS 5/5-6-3.1, “At the conclusion of the period of supervision, if the court determines that the defendant has successfully complied with all of the conditions of supervision, the court shall discharge the defendant and enter a judgment dismissing the charges.”

Of course, DUI can also be punished by a conviction (i.e. conditional discharge, probation, and jail time). It is important to understand that a sentence of court supervision is at the discretion of the Judge and/or prosecutor and is not guaranteed by any means simply because you are eligible.

In our previous post we explained that there are two main parts of Illinois DUI law: the Illinois Statutory Summary Suspension and the criminal charge of DUI. This post addresses the basics of the second part of a DUI case, the criminal charge for Driving Under the Influence. For more information on the Summary Suspension law, please visit our previous post.

The criminal portion of an Illinois DUI case is the DUI charge itself. Generally, if a person has submitted to, and failed testing, there will be 2 tickets (or counts) issued for DUI; one based on the test failure and the other based on the officer’s observations of the person. If testing was refused, there will typically only be one count, based on the officer’s observations of the person.

DUI is most commonly charged as a misdemeanor, but in certain situations the offense can be charged as a felony. If charged as a misdemeanor, DUI carries a maximum sentence of up to 12-months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.00 plus court costs. This offense may be charged as a felony (an offense that carries a potential sentence of more than a year of incarceration) under certain circumstances, including: when the driver does not have valid driving privileges or valid insurance; the driver has two or more prior DUI offenses; or the offense involves death or serious personal injury.

Under Illinois law, there are three classes of misdemeanor offenses: A, B, and C. Class A misdemeanor penalties are the most severe, while Class C misdemeanors carry lesser potential penalties.

A Class C misdemeanor in Illinois carries a maximum penalty of up to 30 days in county jail and a maximum fine of $1,500 plus any mandatory court costs. The defendant may be placed on a period of court supervision, conditional discharge or probation for up to 2-years. Specific sentencing guidelines for Class C misdemeanors can be found under Illinois law 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-65.

Two of the most common Class C misdemeanors are Disorderly Conduct and Assault.

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