DUI Illinois: Knowledge is Critical
As DUI Lawyers in Belleville, IL, we cringe a little when we see the many videos that have made their way onto social media by self-taught lawyers purporting to show how to conduct yourself in various types of traffic stops. These videos come out of a certain fervor that seems to be making the rounds these days regarding police over-reach when it comes to how the police conduct themselves when encountering citizens.
It’s understandable that citizens are curious as to the limits that the State is able to reach into their personal space and personal rights.
Can You Avoid DUI Charges in Illinois?
It’s important to understand that like most other interactions with police, DUI stops are often just an example of officers “checking in” to see if further investigation is warranted. Review the following DUI FAQs to avoid felony DUI or charges for driving under the influence and related consequences such as restricted driving permit, hours of community service, jail time and other fallout from being charged with a DUI offense.
Know Illinois DUI Laws.
DUI in Illinois means that you were found to be driving under the influence with a blood alcohol value of over .08.
What DUI Tests Does Illinois Use?
Generally, police officers begin by observing a driver’s driving behavior. If the behavior is erratic or appears to be compromised, they may pull the driver over and ask them to submit to a field sobriety test consisting of a gaze test, a walk and turn test and as one-leg stand balance test.
After these tests are administered an officer may ask you to “blow” into a field breathalyzer.
You may also be subject to a breathalyzer at the police station.
Do I Have to Cooperate with Police If I Know I Am Not Drunk?
Yes and No. You must pull over to the side of the road if you are being pulled over. You do not have the right to keep driving even if you’re “almost home.” You should provide the officer with your basic information such as your name, driver’s license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration.
You are not legally compelled to volunteer other statements in response to an officer’s probing questions. For instance, you don’t legally have to answer where you’ve been, if you’ve been drinking or where you are going.
You can simply and politely respond to him or her that you have been advised not to answer any further questions, or that you’d rather not say.
Do I Have To Agree to Take a Field Sobriety Test?
No. Most attorneys would explain that you are well within your rights not to take a field sobriety test. These tests are usually not very accurate, nor are they generally admissible in court as evidence.
Will I Be Arrested If I Don’t Agree to A Field Sobriety Test?
Yes, you probably will be arrested. You will probably be taken to a police facility where you will be asked to be tested by the comprehensive blood, breath, urine or chemical test. You also have a right to refuse this test.
When Can I Call My Attorney?
You have a right to request an attorney at any time during the arrest or while you are at the police station. It’s important to have the number for a DUI lawyer and law firm who has experience with this type of situation. For reference, the number for Wilson Dabler & Associates is: 618-235-1600
If the arrest happens after your attorney’s business hours you may have to call after you are bailed out by a friend or relative or after you are released.
Some Perspective On A DUI Arrest in Illinois
At the beginning of this article we mentioned some of the videos that you may have likely seen on YouTube where someone with a dash cam taunts police with his “superior” knowledge of the law. For an ordinary citizen, while being pulled over for any reason, it is not a good idea to try to impress an officer with your knowledge of the law. It is certainly not a great time to become verbally (or physically) combative.
The element that these videos often miss is that while many or most encounters with an officer should be taken seriously and one’s guard should remain up, police are professionals who should be treated with the same respect you pay to any other individual.
What often gets lost in descriptions of how to “handle” police officers is this element of guarded respect.
We recommend always being polite when dealing with a police officer, but not letting the officer coerce you into giving up your rights.
The Best Way To Avoid A DUI in Illinois
Don’t drink and drive. We often hear those stories of the arrestee being someone with prior DUIs. Driving under the influence is often associated with a pattern of behavior shown by prior offenses. DUI involving a second conviction, transporting a minor resulting in harm to the child or death is a class 2 felony.
Operating a vehicle under the influence is a recipe for causing great bodily harm or death and this can all be avoided by simply imposing your own zero-tolerance policy of driving after drinking. To be 100% sure of not receiving a DUI in Illinois and the consequences that go with it, designate someone who isn’t drinking to be the group driver when you go out.
Drunk driving in Illinois means big fines, restrictions such as statutory summary suspensions, many days of community service, living with a class A misdemeanor, living with an ignition interlock device and more headaches than you can imagine. And this is assuming that no accident, injuries or deaths occurred as a result.
If, however, you have done everything you can do to avoid a DUI, and still find yourself in need of a good DUI attorney in Belleville, IL, don’t hesitate to call Wilson, Dabler & Associates at: 618-235-1600