Unless you've been living in a cave for the past decade or so, you
are probably aware that drunken driving is both dangerous and illegal.
Over the past several years, laws regarding drinking and driving have
tightened and penalties have increased nationwide. Illinois is no
different. Of course, there's a reason the laws against driving under
the influence (DUI) are so strict. Drinking and driving can have deadly
consequences, and all too often it's innocent bystanders who suffer
them, rather than the drunk driver. Here is what you need to be aware
of in order to stay safe and legal behind the wheel of a vehicle in
Alcohol and Driving
Why is it so dangerous to drink and drive? Think about it: driving
involves piloting a 1-ton steel machine at relatively high speeds while
avoiding obstacles such as other vehicles, trees, and telephone poles.
Accomplishing this task requires good reflexes, coordination and
judgment. Accomplishing this task requires good reflexes, coordination
and judgment. After a few drinks, these faculties go right out the
window. Read more...
Drugs and Driving
In Illinois, it is just as illegal to drive under the influence of
drugs as it is to drive under the influence of alcohol. You should be
aware that if you arrested for DUI and any trace of an illegal drug
shows up in your system, that is evidence enough to charge and convict
you. Read more...
Everyone knows that drinking and driving is not a smart move. It's
dangerous, illegal, and someone could get hurt or killed. Yet, in 2004,
50,147 people in Illinois were arrested for driving drunk. There's a
fine line between being "okay to drive," and being DUI. How do you know
when you've crossed it? Read more...
DWI Attorney Directory
Need the services of a DWI Attorney? Find one in your area. Read more...
After you are released on bail, you will have an initial court date
scheduled, called an arraignment. At the arraignment, you will be asked
to plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead not guilty, a date will be
set for your trial. You need to have an attorney to advise you and
represent your interests, even before the arraignment. In some parts of
Illinois, videos and other crucial evidence about your arrest may be
destroyed as early as the 30th day after your arrest, unless you or
your lawyer request otherwise. Read more...
In addition to saddling you with a permanent criminal record, an
Illinois DUI conviction is expensive! According to the Illinois
Secretary of State, a first-time DUI conviction can easily cost $14,660
when you include all of the fines, lost income, increased insurance and
fees for substance abuse classes. Read more...
In Illinois, intoxication is measured primarily by your blood
alcohol concentration (BAC). If you have a BAC of .08 or higher, you
are considered to be intoxicated no matter how drunk or sober you feel.
If you have a BAC of .05 to less than .08, you are not automatically
considered intoxicated, but you could still be charged with DUI if
there is additional evidence that can demonstrate impairment on your
part. If your BAC is less than .05, you are off the hook. Read
List of penalties. Read more...
Unfortunately, every year hundreds of Illinois drivers find out
about the dangers of drinking and driving the hard way. For example,
according to the Illinois Secretary of State's office, in 2004 604
people died in alcohol-related crashes in Illinois. In fact, 44% of all
fatal crashes in Illinois that year were caused by drunken driving. Read
Illinois has an implied consent law, which means that the act of
getting behind the wheel of a car indicates that you have consented to
take a chemical test if a police officer believes you are under the
influence. If you decide to refuse a chemical test, the police will not
force you to take one. However, you will face stiff penalties for not
doing so. For example, on the first offense, your driver's license will
be suspended for 6 months. Read more...
Illinois uses three different types of chemical tests to calculate
your blood alcohol level: breath, urine and blood. Of the three, the
breath test is used most often, as it is the least invasive and the
easiest for officers to perform. The first machine that was able to
analyze a person's breath to determine their BAC was invented in 1938
in Indiana by Dr. R. N. Harger. It was known as the "Drunkometer." In
1953, Dr. Robert Borkenstein revolutionized the field by inventing a
machine called the Breathalyzer, which was easier to transport and use.
Despite their long history of use in the United States, breath tests
can be inaccurate, however. Read more...