FAQ On Illinois DUI Law
Illinois uses the term DUI (driving under the influence) for drunk driving offenses. Other states consider this to be a DWI, while still other states such as New York consider DUI and DWI separate penalties under state law.
For Illinois drivers facing a DUI offense, the best decision you can make is to consult legal counsel. This guide can help, but it doesn't not take the place of qualified lawyer. Hiring a DUI lawyer may cost you money, but in Illinois, it's a must as the laws can be complex.
What is BAC?
BAC is blood alcohol content, which, if 0.08% or over, is considered to be a DUI. You are legally drunk and if you're driving, you'll be arrested.
The laws on DUI are clear: you must be behind the wheel and driving the vehicle in order to be given a sobriety test. If you're blood alcohol content goes 0.08 or higher, you will be arrested and later face charges. How you can fight the charges is complex: you could plea; you could claim the charges are wrong. Before that, querying several Illinois DUI lawyers can actually save you time and money in this process. You can fight to get your license back, for example.
If you have a lesser BAC, say .05%, you can still be considered to be driving under the influence. Some people, it's been proven, are effected by alcohol differently than others. A 100 pound woman my drink less than a 250 pound man, but be just as impaired.
What happens when you're pulled over?
If you're BAC is high or if you are clearly impaired, you will be arrested. Before that, you will be given a sobriety test. If the officer feels you are impaired by drugs or alcohol, your license will immediately be suspended for 180 days under Illinois law, you will have to "dry out" in jail and post bail when you are sober, and you'll have an arraignment. If you are in this position now--and just getting out of an Illinois jail--it's definitely time to start querying lawyers. Query several if possible.
What happens during the trial?
You will go to trial, with a lawyer or without, but having one is important. This is where you can plea bargain or look to profess innocence. However, if you are convicted, your license will be suspended for 1 year, and 2 years if you're under 21. You may also be fined and spend time in prison if you're an adult.
What happens if I get more than one Illinois DUI?
If you get multiple DUI arrests, you can expect stiffer penalties. Your license can be permanently suspended, you can face major fines, and you can spend extended periods in prison.
How do I get an Illinois DUI lawyer?
Searching online is a very good start, as you can see who's experienced and who's not. Write a short list of potential Illinois DUI lawyers and try to call each of them. Be sure they specialize in DUI law, do not handle too many cases or have help if they do, and that you can afford them.