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DUI Archives - Chicago Criminal Defense Blog

What Punishments are There for a First Time DUI Offense?

By admin on October 10, 2017

According to the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists and the Illinois State Police, there were 5,619 arrests for DUI in 2016. Chicago Police reported 2,592 arrests themselves. In the Chicago metropolitan area, Elgin ranks third in terms of sheer number of DUI arrests, with 365.

That means that there was a DUI arrest in Elgin, on average, every single day.

As Chicago DUI lawyers, we want to help you understand the consequences of a DUI conviction. The easiest way to avoid any problems with DUI is to not drink and drive. If you have knocked back a few, it may be a good idea to hand your keys to someone else.

Punishments for DUI

There are a few possible punishments for DUI, depending on the circumstances of your case. A few factors determine your sentence, even for first time DUI cases.

In Illinois, DUI is considered to be a Class A misdemeanor offense. This is means it is a criminal offense. Theoretically, a guilty verdict could come with up to one year of prison, but in practice, most first-time offenders receive no jail time.

In addition, there is usually a fine. These fines do not include court costs, nor do they cover additional stipulations of the sentence such as alcohol awareness classes or reinstatement process costs.

Should you be convicted of DUI again, your first DUI will become a factor when it comes to punishment. There is no limit to the ‘look back’ period. If you were first convicted of DUI in 2006, it will be brought up in court in 2029.

There are administrative penalties as well. A first DUI does not always lead to a suspended or revoked license. Many people believe that this is true, but a suspended license does not happen every time. When a license is suspended, however, generally it is for 6 months. There are some circumstances when a license suspension lasts for a whole year or up to 3 years.

Alcohol awareness classes were mentioned above, but we did not explore what they really are. These are courses that provide counseling, facts, and general education on what alcohol abuse can do to you. Those who plead guilty or are found guilty will have to pay for them, and regularly attend them. There is usually a test at the end and additional requirements will need to be met to help reinstate your license.

While this is not necessarily a punishment handed down by the judiciary, those who were found guilty of DUI may find it difficult to rent an apartment, find employment, or get approved for a loan. Employers and landlords often check to see if potential workers or renters have had legal issues, and are less likely to engage with people who were convicted of DUI.

More Serious Punishments for More Serious Crimes

Those punishments are for people who were caught drinking and driving without hitting anything or anyone. There are circumstances where drunk driving punishments become more severe.

In certain instances, the penalties depend on the passengers. The driver of a school bus, a taxi or a car where a person under the age of 16 is a passenger will see harsher penalties. Someone who drives drunk without insurance, a legitimate driver’s license, or has a suspended license will also see more stringent punishments.

Consequences become harsher when the driver was drunk and commits a hit and run.

In Illinois, there is Aggravated DUI. That is a felony punishable by more than a year in the penitentiary. Fines and jail time become far more extensive. This includes when a drunk driver hits someone, and causes severe bodily injury, or death. Some who were convicted of Aggravated DUI have spent a decade or more in jail.

If you are in trouble for DUI, call Mitchell Sexner. He is an experienced, resourceful, and personable lawyer. Contact us today.

Posted in: DUI

Double DUIs: Better to Learn the First Time

By admin on September 25, 2017

A second DUI offense, especially if you are currently dealing with penalties from your first DUI, can be particularly difficult.

In these situations, Illinois courts are more likely to impose strict penalties since the defendant has shown he/she did not learn from the first offense. That’s why it’s vital to have tough legal representation to protect yourself. Read the rest »

Posted in: DUI

Friday Night Drinks: Be Careful Before Driving

By admin on September 25, 2017

For September 8th, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel agreed to lift the decades-long “prohibition” on Friday night games at Wrigley Field, allowing the Cubs to play the Brewers with the blessing of MLB.

Though the Brewers didn’t like this (they were counting on taking advantage of a day game), they did end up winning with a score of 2–1.

Never mind. There are four rematches coming up in the regular season. And while the ban remains officially in place, this one exception may open up the possibility of future Friday night games at Wrigley Field. Read the rest »

Posted in: DUI

Bartenders: Are They Liable for What Their Patrons Do?

By admin on September 25, 2017

A Palatine-area bar recently got into some legal “hot water.” In the mix were a former American Idol contestant, a bartender, and a nasty bar fight.

On July 8th, a confrontation between patrons and bar staff concerning a knocked-over table erupted into physical blows. The former American Idol contestant, who was asked to leave along with her group, ended up being charged with battery, and on the other side a bartender was arrested for the more serious charge of felony aggravated battery. His victim suffered a concussion, two black eyes, a broken nose, and a forehead cut. Read the rest »

Posted in: DUI

Warning! Drunk Driving in Barbie Dream Car May Lead to Dream Arrest

By admin on August 1, 2017

College students utilize any number of different transportation options when commuting from dormitory room to classroom. Some students use a car, a bicycle, a moped, or a motorcycle; and some have been known to travel by unicycle. But one particular Texas State University student has chosen to travel in a little pink Barbie Jeep. What brought her to this choice? A decision by her father to take away her car after a recent arrest for driving while intoxicated. Her father took away her full-sized Jeep after hearing about the arrest and instead gave her a bicycle, telling her that this was now her mode of transportation. Read the rest »

Posted in: DUI

Magician Juggles His Way Out of a DUI

By admin on April 12, 2017

A college student was driving home late on a Friday night from the library. He knew he had a broken taillight, so he was driving as carefully as he could. Still, he attracted the attention of a member of the local law enforcement community, who pulled over his vehicle to conduct a sobriety check.

The officer noticed a strange lump in the driver’s pocket and upon being asked what was in there, the young man told the officer that he was an amateur magician and a juggler (which explained the “JUGGLER” license plate on the car). In order to demonstrate to the officer that he was not inebriated, he performed a juggling routine, which was caught on the officer’s squad camera. The officer was indeed satisfied by the performance, and let the young man go without issuing a citation. When asked about it later, the officer admitted that it was the most fun he ever had on a traffic stop.

Read the rest »

Posted in: DUI

You Snooze You Lose (Your Driver’s License)

By admin on December 22, 2016

A 23 year old man was recently arrested in Lincolnshire, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, and according to news reports was charged with two counts of Aggravated DUI, a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia, and a misdemeanor charge of Driving with a Revoked License. The offense of Aggravated DUI is a felony, and depending upon one’s record, the penalties can range from a Class 4 Felony, all the way up to Class X Felony, for which probation is not even an option.

Read the rest »

Posted in: DUI

Man Faces Prison Sentence in Deadly Alcohol-Related Crash

By admin on October 31, 2016

In a tragic incident, a nine year old girl died in a car crash. She was a passenger in her parent’s minivan, being driven by her mother, when a Cadillac veered head on into their lane. The mother attempted to evade the accident by swerving in the other direction, but the Cadillac struck the side of the car where the young girl was sitting, and now she is dead. Two of her young friends, also riding in the minivan, were injured with non-life-threatening injuries.  Immediately after the crash, the driver of the Cadillac, according to witnesses, fled from the scene on foot. Armed with the wanted offender’s description from the witnesses, police were able to locate and arrest the alleged driver, a 25 year old man from Aurora.

Read the rest »

Posted in: DUI

Chicago Suburban Woman Let Bird Fly During DUI Arrest

By admin on August 9, 2016

Some would say that you should be on your best behavior when getting pulled over by the police, especially if the potential charge is DUI.  But a woman from the Chicago suburb of Cicero did not follow this advice.  As a matter of fact, when the car was slow to leave a red light, going slower than the posted minimum speed, and straddling the lanes, the police stopped the car.  Since there was a strong smell of alcohol, the officer asked the driver to do some field sobriety tests.  According to police, she failed these and was then told she was being arrested. She refused the breathalyzer, and then proceeded to verbally abuse the arresting officer. This was also followed by name dropping of other officers in her community that she was friends with.  After a detour to a hospital to check out a previous shoulder injury she complained about, she was booked.  While attempting to take her mug shot, she performed vulgar hand gestures, ultimately being captured on film giving police the middle finger.  According to police, she then spit and vomited. Read the rest »

Posted in: DUI

Schaumburg Woman Arrested for Unusual Hood Ornament

By admin on March 24, 2016

It’s every American’s right to put a hood ornament on their car if they choose to do so. It’s certainly not against the law even if it’s big, ugly, or tasteless.  It can even light up if that’s your thing. But there are limits. Late on a recent Saturday night, a tree was seen driving the streets of Roselle. More accurately, the tree was embedded in the front end of a car which was driving the streets. This enormous wooden hood ornament was about 15 feet tall. The Roselle Police Department posted the pictures on their Facebook page which have since gone viral. And with good reason, as it was quite a site.

The scene was witnessed by another driver on the road who contacted police. The police then stopped the vehicle. The Schaumburg woman driving the tree-impaled car said that she hit the tree while driving in Schaumburg, but didn’t know where. She then proceeded to drive with the tree sticking out of the front end of her car until she got to the neighboring city of Roselle, where she was pulled over. Read the rest »

Posted in: DUI