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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

2014 Cinco de Mayo Safety: Avoid a DUI

Cinco de Mayo, holiday, celebration, DUI, driving under the influence, Illinois DUI lawyer, Illinois criminal defense attorneyNext month, residents throughout the community will attend parties, barbecues, and festivals to celebrate the Cinco de Mayo holiday. These celebrations have grown in popularity in recent years. After this particularly brutal winter, everyone seems to be looking for any excuse to enjoy the warming weather.

Unfortunately, this time of year also comes with another risk: drunk driving. Alcohol flows abundantly at many of these gatherings, and some partygoers end up getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. Driving under the influence of alcohol is not only a serious crime but it can literally be a matter of life and death.

Plan Ahead

Safety advocates point out that drunk driving arrests, accidents, and injuries all increase on or near May 5th. According to one estimate, over 230 people were killed in drunk driving crashes around the holiday in the last five years alone. Even worse, the problem seems to be growing, as the number of annual drunk driving deaths on Cinco de Mayo doubled in a single year from 2011 to 2012.

As a result of the known problem, police departments across Illinois will be on alert, ramping up DUI enforcement efforts around the holiday. Officers will be aggressive in their attempt to stop drivers suspected of drunk driving and arrest those who violate the law.  Be aware that some communities will set up road blocks where officers will stop vehicles on the road at random during this time.  In the past, state police officers have been purposefully stationed at toll booth ramps to look for open alcohol containers as they peer into vehicles going through the toll booth.

All of this makes it important to plan ahead and avoid any risk of driving while intoxicated after a Cinco de Mayo party. Many residents mistakenly assume that they are unimpaired after a few drinks or can “sober up” relatively quickly. A far better approach is to take steps to avoid having to drive at all--designate a sober driver, take public transportation, or have taxi numbers ready.

DUI in Illinois

Drunk driving is treated very seriously under the law. Even a single DUI in Illinois can result in significant fines, license suspension, the required installation of an interlock ignition device on your car, and even jail time. In addition, if “aggravating” factors are present, like having a young child in the car with you or being involved in an accident that results in an injury, then DUI penalties are greatly increased. Those who were previously arrested or convicted of DUI will also face particularly stiff punishments.  Insurance rates often sky-rocket after a DUI.  And, the legal fees are often in excess of a couple of thousand of dollars.  These are all good reasons to avoid being arrested for DUI.

Legal Help

While it is prudent to plan ahead to avoid any risk of drunk driving, mistakes do occur. If you are facing DUI charges, do not bury your head in the sand. An experienced DUI attorney will examine the facts of your case and help you avoid the most serious penalties. Such tactics may include negotiation to lessen the punishment or even fighting to have the charges dropped altogether.  We have been successful in having the charge of drunk driving reduced to reckless driving and the suspension of driving privileges lifted.

The professionals at Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. work with men and women in Lombard, West Chicago, Rolling Meadows, Melrose Park, Waukegan, Glendale Heights, Addison, and many other communities throughout Chicagoland who are arrested for DUI. Please contact our team today to see how we can help.

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