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Southern Illinois Criminal Defense Blog

Wedding guest faces drunk driving charges

After having one or two drinks, one's ability to make sound decisions is often affected. While the individual will recognize faulty logic under normal circumstances, this is not always the case once alcohol becomes involved. In some instances, the Illinois resident does not realize that he or she is not legally able to drive and ends up facing drunk driving charges.

In one recent instance, a wedding guest apparently had too much to drink. According to his statement, he and his passenger had both consumed alcoholic beverages at the wedding. Additionally, he indicated that he believed he was more sober than his passenger; therefore, it made more sense for him to be the one to drive home. Upon completing a breathalyzer test, officers indicate that the driver's blood alcohol level was approximately twice the legal limit.

Driver's license reinstatement after revocation

The worst part appears to be over. The Illinois resident has suffered the consequences of a drunk driving conviction and is now ready to move on with his or her life. One important step in this is the driver's license reinstatement process.

A drunk driving conviction brings with it a number of consequences. In addition to monetary fines, the individual's license will most likely be suspended or revoked. In order for the individual to have the driver's license reinstated, certain steps must be taken.

4 Types of traffic violations for driving with an obstructed view

Using objects or modifications in your vehicle that limit your view is not only hazardous to your safety and the safety of other drivers, it may also leave you with a traffic violation — whether it causes an accident or not.

Here are a few of the ways you may face an Illinois traffic violation for driving with an obstructed view.

Issues with drug charges: Was the search of your vehicle legal?

"May I search your vehicle?" A driver's answer to this question from a police officer -- whether here in Illinois or elsewhere -- could provide law enforcement with the legal authorization to conduct a search of the vehicle. Even if a motorist has nothing to hide, it may not be a good idea to give consent, especially when facing potential drug charges. If given, the driver relinquishes an important constitutional right afforded under the Fourth Amendment.

Of course, officers do have a bit more wiggle room when it comes to searching a vehicle versus, say, searching a home. The law distinguishes between the amount of privacy an individual expects at home and the amount he or she may reasonably expect in a vehicle. Even so, an officer does need to protect your rights and can only search your vehicle under limited circumstances.

Field sobriety tests and drunk driving

Lights flashing in the rearview mirror are often an indication that the Illinois driver needs to pull over. Once this occurs, the officer will usually ask for the driver's license and registration. Throughout this process, the law enforcement officer is analyzing the situation to determine if there are other issues such as possible drunk driving that need to be addressed.

If the officer suspects that the driver has been drinking, he or she will most likely ask the driver to participate in one or more field sobriety tests. These tests allow the officer to observe the driver's eye movement, balance and other factors that may indicate a problem. These observations then alert the officer to the need for further testing and possible arrest.

More than just simple drug charges

Friends often share expenses or take turns buying dinner, drinks and even the occasional recreational activity. For some Illinois residents, this recreational activity can take the form of drugs that the friends are planning to both use. While this may appear to be a fairly harmless activity, it may result in drug charges or worse.

It starts as an opportunity for friends to relax and unwind. One friend shares with another. Then, something goes wrong, and it is necessary to call for medical assistance. The line between purchasing items to share with friends and dealing drugs can be a blurry one.

The penalties of a first offense DUI

The summer is coming to a close and young people are preparing to return to college. For many, the college lifestyle is a thrilling time full of friends, new experiences, enlightening education and rewarding challenges. For many students, the college lifestyle also often comes with drinking alcohol.

It's often easy for students to lose sight of how serious alcohol related charges are when they are around a culture of partying. If you have a child returning to college this fall, make sure they know the consequences that can accompany poor decisions and alcoholic beverages.

Driver's license reinstatement after drunk driving conviction

Drunk driving is a serious problem throughout Illinois as well as the rest of the nation. In fact, it is estimated that over 40 percent of all traffic related deaths are in some way related to drunk driving. As a result, the penalties for drunk driving are designed to discourage individuals from such activity. One penalty that often causes concern for individuals is the loss of the driver's license; driver's license reinstatement is often a primary concern once the dust settles and they are ready to move forward.

Typically, a first offense involves a mandatory three month license suspension, and a second offense calls for a mandatory 12 month license suspension. Additionally, if the individual refuses to comply with chemical testing, the driver's license is automatically suspended for a period of six months or more. These penalties become effective 46 days after notice. As with all criminal charges, the original drunk driving arrest can be challenged in court.

Traffic stop leads to drug charges

Flashing lights in the rear view mirror can send waves of panic through an Illinois driver. Questions of what have I done or how fast was I going typically rush through the mind. The driver often looks around to make sure that nothing questionable is lying around and then begins to reach for the necessary documents that the officer is likely to request. Then, if items are present which could lead to drug charges, the driver has even more reason to be concerned.

In one recent instance, an Illinois law enforcement officer noticed a driver allegedly commit a traffic violation. As a result of this, the officer decided to stop the vehicle to determine why the apparent violation had been committed. The driver, a 61-year-old male, complied with the officer's signal to stop.

Illinois police recognized for reduction in drunk driving arrests

Drinking and driving can have serious repercussions for all involved. On many occasions, an individual will have a drink or two and determine that he or she is still okay to driver. This may be the case; however, many times it is not. When this happens, the individual runs the risk of being stopped by Illinois law enforcement officers and then facing drunk driving charges.

One Illinois police department has been recognized by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists for its work in reducing the number of DUIs within its jurisdiction. According to the police chief, the number of DUI arrests has dropped considerably in the past 10 years. He attributes this decrease to the public's awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving as well as his department's vigilance in enforcing the law. In fact, he states that those currently being stopped for suspicion of drunk driving are not from the local area.

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