Articles Posted in DUI

A driver may be required to use a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID), also known as a breathalyzer, if they have been issued a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) or a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) as a result of a DUI suspension or revocation. The Illinois Secretary of State has implemented strict rules under the Administrative Code regarding BAIID violations. Violations include:

  • BrAC reading of .05 or more
  • Failing a rolling retest

It can take, on average, 10-14 weeks to receive a restricted driving permit (RDP)/hardship license from the date of your administrative hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State. There is not only a waiting period before the hearing is scheduled (for a formal hearing), but there is a waiting period to receive a decision from the Illinois Secretary of State after the hearing is held, and it takes additional time to receive the physical permit. It is a long and complex process that must be handled properly step-by-step.

In-person formal hearings are scheduled approximately 60 days after the date of request. After a formal hearing is held, the Illinois Secretary of State has 90 days to issue a decision. Decisions often do not take the full 90 days to be issued.

Drivers do not have to file a request for an informal hearing. Informal hearings are available during regular business hours on a walk-in basis. The Illinois Secretary of State does not have a time limit to issue a decision for an RDP at an informal hearing. You can expect to wait anywhere between 6-12 weeks for a decision.

In order to stop a vehicle, a police officer must have reasonable suspicion that the driver is committing a violation of Illinois law. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution requires that law enforcement have specific and articulable facts that a crime has been committed, or is about to be committed, to justify the stop of a vehicle. An exception to this requirement is known as the community caretaking function, which allows a police officer to investigate if the driver appears to be in need of assistance.

Of course, there are a wide variety of offenses that can justify a vehicle stop. In DUI cases, the officer does not need to have a basis to believe that the driver is under the influence at the time of the stop. Minor moving violations or even equipment violations (i.e. a burnt out taillight or cracked windshield) are valid grounds to stop a vehicle. Most Illinois DUI investigations will begin with an allegation of improper lane usage, speeding or other common moving violations under the Illinois Vehicle Code.

When conducting an Illinois DUI arrest, the police officer must have probable cause to believe that a driver is under the influence. Probable cause is a higher standard than the reasonable suspicion necessary to stop a vehicle. Once a police officer has stopped a vehicle, that officer must be able to articulate specific facts supporting a belief that the driver is under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, medical cannabis, or another intoxicating compound in order to arrest the person for DUI. This can be based on factors relating to the driver’s speech, appearance, and odor. Specifically, officers will often point to sign of impairment including bloodshot and/or glassy eyes, slurred speech, soiled clothing, unusual actions, inconsistent responses and the odor of alcohol and/or marijuana.

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.

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

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:

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.

Effective today, January 1st, 2016, new DUI laws go into effect which benefit revoked and suspended drivers who want to seek driving privileges before the Illinois Secretary of State. One of these significant changes in the law will allow drivers with a lifetime ban on driving the opportunity to apply for driving relief.

Attorney Larry A. Davis, principle of The Davis Law Group, P.C. assisted in the drafting of these new laws and represented the Illinois State Bar Association in securing their passage.

Contact The Davis Law Group, P.C. if you would like a consultation or further information on these important changes in the laws.

Yesterday the Chicago Tribune highlighted a new law effective January 1, 2016, which will expand the number of DUI revoked and suspended drivers who will now be eligible for driving privileges in Illinois. The law will allow the following categories of drivers to obtain driving privileges who previously could not: first offenders needing driving privileges during the first 30-days of the DUI statutory summary suspension; second offenders during the 1-year or 3-year DUI statutory summary suspension; and persons with multiple DUI convictions (who currently cannot obtain privileges during the first year of revocation).

A first offender is an individual without a prior DUI disposition within 5 years prior to the current DUI arrest. A second offender is an individual with a prior DUI disposition within 5 years prior to the current DUI arrest.

The law also expands the groups of persons required to have Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Devices (“BAIID devices”) installed in their vehicles to include DUI involving a fatality or serious bodily injury and individuals who have had a prior DUI statutory summary suspension anytime in their lives.

An article in this month’s Illinois Bar Journal highlights the legislative accomplishments of the Traffic Laws Section of the Illinois State Bar Association. The Traffic Laws Section, including attorney Larry A. Davis, assisted in advancing several key pieces of DUI-related legislation this year. The article, written by Ed Finkel, discusses the changes to the lifetime revocation law and removal of ‘hard times’ related to MDDPs/DUI Statutory Summary Suspensions as well as Restricted Driving Permits (RDPs). The article also explains the desired reforms to the marijuana ‘trace’ law related to DUI, which was amendatorily vetoed by Governor Rauner.

A link to the full article is available here: Keeping the Road Safe and the Law Sane

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