Articles Posted in DUI

Submitting to a breath test offered by a police officer has a variety of potential consequences. Of course, the question itself assumes that you have a choice – either agreeing or refusing – but do you? What is the difference between a breath test taken on the street after you are stopped by the police and the breath test offered back at the station after you have been placed under arrest for DUI? Are you required to take the physical field sobriety tests? Illinois DUI law is complex, our defense attorneys have provided guidance on these questions below.

What is the difference between a Preliminary Breath Screening Test (PBT) and an Evidentiary Breath Test?

A PBT is sometimes, not always, offered to drivers on the street before they are placed under arrest for DUI. The vast majority of PBT’s are not certified or calibrated the same way as the evidentiary breath test, which is offered at the police station. PBT’s can only be used for probable cause purposes to arrest a motorist for DUI but may not be used as evidence at trial.

Below are answers to frequently asked questions regarding driving records in Illinois. Driving records are different across all 50 states. Illinois driving records are maintained by the Illinois Secretary of State. They also are often referred to as driving record abstracts and motor vehicle records (MVR).

What information appears on an Illinois driving record?

  • Convictions (traffic tickets, including those issued in other states)

Will Illinois find out about my out-of-state DUI?

Illinois is a member of the Driver’s License Compact, which is an agreement between states to exchange information regarding traffic violations and license suspensions or revocations of non-residents and forward that information to the state where they are licensed. Therefore, if the state where you are charged with DUI is part of the Driver’s License Compact, the appropriate authorities will report the information to the Illinois Secretary of State. Illinois will then treat the DUI as if it had been committed here.

While most states are part of the Driver’s License Compact, the few non-member states include Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. However, in practice, many of these states still report offenses to Illinois under their own laws and regulations even though they are not officially part of the Driver’s License Compact.

Courtroom etiquette has many written and unwritten rules and, as we all know, first impressions are lasting impressions, so how you appear and how you behave during your court appearance may have a significant impact on your case. In some extreme circumstances, bad behavior can result in jail time or a fine if you are found in contempt of court. To make a good first impression, you should familiarize yourself with the rules and make sure you adhere to them.

Planning for Your Day in Court

The courthouse is a place of employment for the judge and the court staff. As everybody else, they want to keep their work day smooth and efficient. By arriving on time and following the rules, you show the court the proper respect it deserves and allow the court to maintain efficiency. By doing so, you are also increasing your chances of a more favorable outcome.

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.

Attorney Larry A. Davis, principal of The Davis Law Group, P.C., has been awarded the 2018 Richard H. Teas Legislative Support Award by the Illinois State Bar Association. The award acknowledges Mr. Davis’s work on behalf of the bar association’s legislative efforts in the Illinois General Assembly.

Mr. Davis has authored, co-authored and negotiated numerous laws primarily related to driving under the influence and driver’s license law. These laws include the Illinois summary suspension law, the offenses of driving while revoked and suspended, and the issuance of restricted driving permits following suspension or revocation. Additionally, Mr. Davis has spent countless hours in the analysis and negotiation of traffic and driver’s license law proposals. He has testified numerous times before the legislature on these various proposals.

This award was presented to Mr. Davis by Past-President of the ISBA and Retired Judge (Hon.) Russell W. Hartigan. It recognizes Mr. Davis’s continued leadership in the area of DUI, traffic and driver’s license law.

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.

Effective January 1, 2016, the Secretary of State began to enforce a new law requiring that revoked drivers with 2 or more DUI convictions who were granted a restricted driving permit (RDP) after an administrative hearing, drive on a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) for a period of 5-years before applying for full reinstatement.

Unfortunately, the Secretary of State made the decision to apply this law retroactively. As a result, applicants whose DUIs occurred before the effective date of the new law and, in many cases years, decades earlier, are subject to the new law, only because they failed to apply before the change in the law went into effect.

Many of our clients have asked for the reasoning is behind the law. The law was proposed by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM), which claimed that a study they had found demonstrated that until a person drives successfully for at least 5-years on a BAIID device, the chances that the person will return to abusive drinking is unacceptably high. However, further investigation demonstrates that the study relied on by AAIM says nothing of the sort.

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I would like to take this time to thank you for a job well done. I received my full reinstatement documents today for full driving privileges. This took me by surprise. I did not expect to see the results this fast. I just want to say that I am blessed to have a very good lawyer like yourself to guide me through the process... I am very grateful. You're the best. Thanks again. G.B.
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My special thanks for your help, guidance, and support during a most difficult time. You came recommended as "the best" and you lived up to your reputation! I wish you a lovely holiday season and a new year of challenges overcome, new joys experienced, and much fulfillment realized. All good thoughts your way. S.S.
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I am very grateful for your work and representation. Although it is difficult for me to truly express my gratitude through e-mail, I hope you can still understand how thankful I am that we were able to dismiss my case on the first court date. I am very pleased with the outcome. Again, thank you very much for your time. Please enjoy the rest of your week. D.K.

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