DUI Lawyer Skokie

A Skokie DUI Attorney Explains The Law

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You honestly didn’t have much to drink at the football game, but a police officer stopped you on the way home for improper lane usage. You took the breathalyzer test, figuring you would pass it anyway. But the test results were surprisingly high. You really only had three beers. Can the machine be correct? According to a recent New York Times investigation, breathalyzer machines nationwide are often less accurate than advertised. As a result, thousands of test results have been invalidated in recent years across the country. In some cases, poor maintenance is to blame such as where rats were…
If you are charged with DUI, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt: 1) that you were impaired and 2) that you were driving. This burden may be more difficult to meet if no one actually saw you behind the wheel of the car. But sometimes the state can prove driving through circumstantial evidence. In a typical DUI, an officer may stop you for a traffic violation and thus, can testify that you were driving. Bear in mind that this applies even if the officer instead found you sleeping in the car. If instead the officer arrives at the…
Recreational marijuana is about to become legal in Illinois, but that doesn’t mean you can cruise the highway lazily puffing a joint with your stash on the seat. Be aware that there are still limits. As with open alcohol, you may not drive while using cannabis in the passenger area of your car while on the road. See 625 ILCS 5/11-502.15. Furthermore, no one may possess cannabis in the car’s passenger compartment unless the cannabis is in a sealed, odor-proof, child resistant cannabis container. Violating either law is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in…
You and your friends were hanging out in the alley with a bottle of Grey Goose vodka. A police cruiser spotted you with the booze. As a result, you were all arrested for drinking in public ways. The police then patted you down and found drugs and a gun in your pocket. You were then arrested for drinking in public ways and for possession of contraband. What is drinking in public ways? What can you do? Depending on whether you were actually on the public way, you may be able to suppress the evidence from your arrest. Most municipalities have…
The officer stopped you for a broken tail light. When you rolled down your window, he smelled the odor of alcohol and asked you to get out of the car. You took the field sobriety tests and thought you did pretty well, but the officer arrested you anyway. If there is a video, you think it will prove you were OK. Do you have a right to see the video? The answer is yes. During your arrest, the officer likely wore a body camera or had a camera mounted on his or her squad car. If there is a recorded…
In reviewing a traffic ticket or DUI, the court generally reviews all the facts of your case. In some situations, the type of road you were driving on may become important. For example, does an officer have probable cause to stop you for improper lane usage if the road is particularly twisty? The answer may be no. See our related post What is Improper Lane Usage Under Illinois Law. You may not legally pass a school bus that is signaling a stop. However, this law does not apply to certain types of roads. See our related post Passing a
When you are arrested for DUI, the police must read you the Warnings to Motorists, but this is not the same as your Miranda rights. The Illinois Secretary of State will try to automatically suspend your driver’s license on the 46th day after your arrest for DUI. The length of that suspension depends partly on whether you agreed to take a breathalyzer or other field sobriety tests. Before taking those tests, the officer must read you the Warnings to Motorists to inform you that your license will be suspended for a longer period if you refuse the tests. Illinois law…
The officer pulled you over for speeding. He ran a check of your license and issued the ticket. But the officer asked you to not to leave quite yet. You were forced to wait while the officer ran some checks or maybe brought in a narcotics dog. You were then arrested for an offense other than the original speeding ticket. Can they do that? What are the limits of a police stop? An officer may stop you for one reason and investigate you for another as long as he or she does not unduly prolong the stop. Authority for the…
If you hear a siren or see the flashing lights of an emergency vehicle, it should go without saying that you have to clear the way. Illinois requires that you move to the right side curb until the vehicle passes. If the emergency vehicle is stopped and flashing its lights, you must change to a lane that is not next to the emergency vehicle. If changing lanes is not possible, you must reduce your speed. Known as Scott’s Law, these rules seek to protect police officers who are too often killed by oncoming motorists while providing emergency aid. Scott’s…
A police officer can stop you if he or she has probable cause. An unlit headlight may be cause enough. But once stopped, an officer needs either your consent or a reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing to search your car. What is a reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing? The answer depends on how a judge sees the specific facts of your situation. A recent Illinois case provides a good example. In People v. Thomas, the defendant was stopped because of an obstructed windshield. An officer warned the defendant and returned his license. At that point, defendant’s first detention was over. However,…
As of July 1, 2019, a first offense for texting or using a cell phone while driving is now a moving violation. Before the change, a second offense incurred the moving violation. The rest of the law remains the same: It prohibits using an electronic communication device while driving. Such a device includes, but is not limited to, a hand-held wireless telephone, hand-held personal digital assistant, or a portable or mobile computer, but does not include GPS or a device that is physically or electronically integrated into the vehicle. Fines range from $75 for a first offense to $150 for…
You know you blew a stop sign, so you were not surprised when the officer pulled you over. But then the officer searched your car and found an open bottle of whiskey under the passenger seat. You are now under arrest for DUI. Did the officer have the right to search your car? What can you do? To search your car without a warrant, the officer must have probable cause to believe that your car contains evidence of criminal activity. The officer may also search if an item of contraband, such as open alcohol or drugs, is in plain view,…
The answer is yes. There is a procedure for asking the court to review the suspension. After you are charged with DUI, the Secretary of State usually suspends your driver’s license on the 46th day after your arrest. Once you receive the notice of a statutory summary suspension of driving privileges, you may request a hearing before the court. You must state the grounds upon which you are seeking to rescind or overturn the suspension. See 625 ILCS 5/2-118.1. One basis for rescinding is that the officer lacked reasonable grounds to believe you were driving under the influence of…
If you are charged with DUI, you should immediately contact an attorney because certain options to fight the automatic suspension of your driver’s license may only be available for a short time after your arrest. The Illinois Secretary of State automatically suspends your driver’s license on the 45th day after your DUI arrest for a minimum of six months. An attorney can file a petition to challenge this suspension at any time. However, the sooner you file the petition the better, because the state has to meet certain timeframes. Under 625 ILCS 5/2-118.1, you must be given a hearing…
You saw the school bus, but you honestly didn’t see the stop sign extending from it. So you drove past the bus, and next thing you know, a police car signaled you to pull over. You would never intentionally disobey a school bus sign, and the whole thing is extremely upsetting. What is the law? What can you do? In Illinois, you must stop before passing a school bus from either direction when the bus is signaling a stop by either a stop sign or flashing lights. You may not drive forward until the school bus proceeds, the bus driver…
You got into an accident after drinking at a party. You were taken to the hospital where your blood was drawn. The blood test clearly shows you were well over the legal limit. Can the police get those test results or are you protected by patient-physician confidentiality? In general, Illinois law prohibits your doctor from disclosing any informationacquired while attending you in a professional capacity that is necessary for the doctor to treat you. However, there are certain exceptions. Physician-patient confidentiality does not apply to blood tests performed while you are receiving medical treatment in an emergency room and can…