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drivingMany of us have personal experiences with the detrimental effect drinking and driving-related accidents, deaths, and injuries can have on our lives. On the other side of that, however, are the thousands of people convicted of DUI offenses in Illinois each year. Illinois laws are designed to protect law-abiding drivers and pedestrians from those driving under the influence by establishing steep penalties for driving under the influence, but also to protect the rights of the accused.

Just before Labor Day weekend, the Illinois State Police Department and the Illinois Department of Transportation ran a campaign to encourage responsible driving. The state legislature continues to support increases in drinking and driving penalties, even for first-time offenders. Despite these campaigns and laws, police apprehend thousands of drivers suspected of drinking and driving annually, and hundreds of lives are lost as a result of driving under the influence. It is important to know what your rights are during and after a DUI charge in Illinois.

Illinois Implied Consent Laws

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Posted on in DUI

drivingTypically, when one hears the term DUI, their thoughts immediately turn to the use of alcohol. Driving under the influence of drugs or other intoxicating compounds, however, are also grounds for receiving a DUI. Every state has its own version of laws that dictate the punishments and fines for offenders. In Illinois, the punishments and fines for driving under the influence can be severe, regardless of the circumstances.

The Law

Illinois publishes the Illinois DUI Fact Book every year in conjunction with the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State. The 2014 version of the Fact Book was released in January of this year. Additional information may be found in the Illinois Vehicle Code at 625 ILCS 5/11 et al. What you must know is that .08 percent is the legal limit for a blood alcohol content (BAC), and it takes surprisingly little alcohol to reach this level, depending on your body weight and physiological makeup.

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Posted on in Felony

In early 2011, Henry Benjamin III, 39, led police on a wild chase through several northwest suburbs before crashing his car into a West Dundee police car, injuring several officers in the process, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Benjamin plead guilty this January to one count of aggravated DUI and one count of aggravated driving on a revoked license, and faces punishment for two Class 2 felonies, according to a release from the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office. When tested the night of the incident, records show that Benjamin’s blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit. 

The ordeal began when Carpentersville police stopped Benjamin for a routine traffic violation on Route 25. Benjamin failed to “provide the officer with his driver’s license and proof of insurance, and when he attempted to reach into the center console of his car, the officer became alarmed and a struggle ensued,” according to the Sun-Times. The officer was dragged behind Benjamin’s car for a short distance after the drunk driver pulled off, and proceeded to lead “multiple squad cars from multiple jurisdictions on a lengthy chase at speeds over the speed limits,” until losing control of his car. One officer continues, at the beginning of 2013, to recover from injuries sustained in the incident. A 2008 report issued by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) states that, by far, automobile, motorcycle, and aircraft accidents cause the most law enforcement officer deaths each year. “Although the way the FBI reports this data renders uncertain how many of these incidents involve a high speed pursuits,” the IACP report states, “the numbers are still compelling.” If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI or have lead the police on a high-speed chase and are now facing aggravated driving charges, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Chicago-area criminal defense attorney today. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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