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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
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Posted on in DUI

DUI, repeat DUI, Illinois Criminal Defense AttorneyIllinois lawmakers are considering two different bills which would affect Illinois residents who have multiple drunk driving convictions.

House Bill 3533 would require anyone who has two or more drunk driving convictions to participate in the Illinois’ Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) program for a minimum of five years before their license could be reinstated. The BAIID program was initially enacted in the state in 1994. A driver who is in the program is required to blow into the device, which measures the person’s blood alcohol level, in order for the vehicle to start. The current law does not require offenders to participate in the program. A person who has had their driving privileges suspended for drunk driving can simply wait until the length of suspension has passed and reapply for their license.

The inspiration for HB 3533 was the tragic death of 17-year-old Caitlin Weese, of Elgin, in 2003. The young girl was killed in an accident caused by a drunk driver who had already been involved in several drunk driving incidents.

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Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois DUI attorney,Driving under the influence of any controlled substance, drug, or alcohol is a crime in the state of Illinois. Drugged driving has become more of a concern in recent years as some states have begun the process of legalizing marijuana or issuing medical marijuana licenses. It is not unlawful to merely have these substances in your system, presuming that you are lawfully entitled to possess them. However, at a certain threshold, the substances may begin affecting your reaction speeds, and thus your ability to drive and perform other tasks that may affect the safety of others. It is that point that you begin crossing over from a lawful activity into something that may put a misdemeanor or felony on your record if you injure someone while driving under the influence of such substances.

Drugged Driving: Intentional or Otherwise

Another serious misconception is that you cannot be “under the influence” of prescription drugs that you have been lawfully prescribed by a physician. Not only can many of these drugs affect reaction speeds, focus, and ability to drive, but the effects may be amplified significantly when mixed with other drugs or alcohol. While it is always dangerous (not to mention illegal) to take prescription drugs that do not belong to you, taking these drugs and driving poses serious safety concerns to yourself and others on the road.

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Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, supplying to a minor, alcohol legislation,Underage drinking has always - and may always be - a problem. Some parents advocate for “controlled environment” drinking, where they may allow their minor children and friends to drink alcohol so long as the parents are home and no one drives. While there are arguments to be made that this policy may decrease alcohol abuse later in life, Illinois has made it clear that these practices are against the law. A new law that went into effect January 1, 2015 will punish parents for providing alcohol to minors on their property, even on their boats, trailers, or other personal property. This law seeks to curb the epidemic of drinking and driving offenses on our roads and limit the amount of juvenile offenders susceptible to criminal involvement.

Supplying to a Minor in Illinois

The first wave of this parent-minor oriented legislation came back in 2013 when Illinois first specified that it is a crime to provide alcohol to minors at the parents’ home. This includes mere knowledge that minors are drinking in their household, whether they supplied it to the minors or not. According to the law, a violation of this sort may result in a Class A misdemeanor, the highest and most severe classification of misdemeanors.

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Illinois DUI offenders who have lost their driver's licenses could get back on the road if a current proposal passes through the Illinois Legislature. In May, an Illinois House committee voted 15-0 to approve legislation which would allow four-time DUI offenders to obtain a restricted driver's license permit which would limit the time and place an individual can drive. This permit would be designed for DUI offenders to be able to drive to and from work.

The Illinois Secretary of State records show that 380 Illinois residents lost their driver's licenses in 2013. Many of these revocations resulted from a fourth DUI conviction. Other revocations involved fleeing the scene of a crash involving serious injuries or reckless driving, which resulted in a death.

Illinois Restricted Driving Permit

Many who support Illinois SB1996 say the measure could improve road safety because many DUI offenders drive illegally without insurance. The application process to obtain a driver's permit under the new law would be very stringent. Four-time Illinois DUI offenders could only acquire a restricted driver's permit five years after losing their license or being released from prison. They would also need to prove three years of sobriety, complete alcohol treatment programs and install an alcohol detection device, called a BAIID, in their car that would disable the vehicle if they attempted to drive while intoxicated.

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IllinoisLong after the 16 year old thrill of having a driver’s license for the first time wears off, people often forget the amount of responsibility we hold behind the wheel. We have obligations to other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and our own passengers. We must always be alert, and we must discontinue phone use when driving, stop playing with the GPS, and certainly stop fiddling with the iPod. Our thrill turns from fun into responsibility, from exciting adventures with friends to a monotonous commute to work.

It is easy to take this seemingly simple thing, our driver’s license, for granted because we rely on it every day. What if you had one too many speeding tickets and suddenly could no longer drive to work or drive your children to school? Did you know that your license could be suspended if you have three traffic ticket violation convictions within a 12-month period?

This is a reminder that driving is a privilege, and your license can be revoked or suspended by the state of Illinois for any number of things. This is also a reminder that there are legal measures you can take before your small mistakes become big problems.

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