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Posted by on in DUI
Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Cook County drunk driving lawyerJust how effective are ignition interlock devices? The tiny devices that prevent intoxicated drivers from starting or operating a vehicle have grown in popularity across the country as an effective method to prevent drunk driving. Since the first legislation on ignition interlock devices was put in place in 1999, every state in the country now utilizes the devices to help combat DUIs. Twenty-five states, including Illinois, have laws in place that require the devices be used after any DUI conviction, and drunk driving advocates are calling for other states to follow suit. Do the devices really keep American roadways safer? According to a report released recently by the widely known drunk driving awareness group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), ignition interlock devices have thwarted 1.77 million drunk driving attempts nationwide since their first use. The report, the first of its kind, used data provided by the 11 major companies that manufacture ignition interlock devices. The devices are installed in an offender’s vehicle and prevent the car from starting unless the driver blows into the device to prove their sobriety. The devices may also require drivers to stop mid-drive and blow again, ensuring that they cannot start drinking on the road or have another person start their vehicle for them. According to MADD, the states that use the devices the most frequently have seen the most drastic decreases in DUIs and DUI related fatalities. Arizona, for example, has seen drunk driving deaths decrease by 50 percent since they first began using the tools to stop drunk driving. Many other states have seen 30 to 40 percent decreases. The report includes any attempt to start a vehicle by a driver whose blood alcohol content was .08, the legal limit, or higher. Since the state of Illinois began utilizing the devices, 96,456 drunk driving attempts have been prevented. In Washington, 103,913 attempts have been stopped. In Colorado, 92,503 attempts have been thwarted. That is only including drivers who have been at the legal limit of intoxication or higher, and MADD says that the figures for those who blow a .025 or higher are much larger. Upwards of 12 million buzzed drivers have been stopped thanks to the devices. Now, drunk driving advocates are calling for every state across the country to require the devices be installed in every DUI case. While every state does currently use the device in some way, some states only use them in cases involving repeat offenders, or with drivers who have a qualifying blood alcohol content. In Maryland, for example, the devices are only required in cases where the driver's blood alcohol content is .15 or higher, almost twice the legal limit. Other states let judges decide whether to use the devices or not on a case by case basis. Drunk driving advocates say that for the devices to be truly effective, they need to be required after every DUI case. In a statement released by MADD, the organization says no other preventative measures are as effective as ignition interlock devices, and that no other option physically prevents drivers from operating their vehicles while intoxicated like an ignition interlock device can. “That is why MADD believe every option for treatment and rehabilitation should include an ignition-interlock requirement to allow the offenders to safely travel without putting others or themselves at risk.” Opponents to the devices say they are too expensive to utilize in every case, but advocates say drunk drivers simply cannot be trusted to not repeat themselves. In fact, around a third of individuals arrested for or convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders, and studies show that the average drunk driver has driven intoxicated 80 times prior to being caught. DUI Charges Could Mean Severe Consequences Most law enforcement agencies across the country hold a “no-tolerance” policy towards drunk drivers, and drunk driving penalties have become harsher. If you are facing DUI charges, you need the help of a qualified Chicago criminal defense attorney. You need an attorney with a track record of success. Call 312-629-0669 today to schedule your free consultation with the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney. Attorney Garfinkel, a former prosecutor, has successfully defended many clients from DUI related charges. Do not leave your future in the hands of the Illinois legal system. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.   Sources:

Posted by on in DUI

MDDP, drunk driving, Illinois Criminal Defense LawyerBefore you were arrested on charges of driving under the influence, you probably failed or refused a blood alcohol content (BAC) chemical test. Such tests, while not the only criteria for determining your impairment, are administered to establish your BAC, and the penalties for failing or refusing them are administered by the Secretary of State’s Office.  They are applied separately from any sentence or penalties imposed as conditions of court supervision or as the result of a DUI conviction.

Statutory Summary Suspensions

Technically considered an administrative penalty as opposed to a criminal one, a statutory summary suspension applies to any driver who fails or refuses to submit chemical BAC testing. If you fail a breathalyzer, blood, or urine test for the first time, your driving privileges will be suspended for 6 months. A suspension of 12 months will be applied for subsequent failures. What constitutes a failed test depends upon the driver’s age and whether the vehicle is commercial or private. The legal BAC limit for a driver 21 or older operating a private vehicle is 0.08 percent, 0.04 percent for a commercial vehicle, and 0.00 for any driver under 21.


happy hour, alcohol discounts, Chicago Criminal Defense AttorneyAfter more than 25 years, Illinois residents looking for cheaper drinks after work will be able to legally find them. Illinois lawmakers, earlier this year, passed a measure that repealed the ban on happy hour throughout the state. The new law took effect on July 15, 2015, and while most restaurant and bar owners are excited about the prospect of additional business, some still have concerns over the potential for danger among inebriated customers, including the possibility of drunk driving.

Why Was It Banned?

Throughout the 1980s, public safety campaigns around the country focused heavily on the dangers of alcohol-related accidents. Groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) successfully raised awareness of the problem, which, in turn, led to a demand for more aggressive preventive measures. Some municipalities, including here in Illinois, thought that a solution might be found in limiting discounted drinks to reduce binge drinking and drunk driving accidents. The state, as a whole, followed suit in 1989, albeit with rather inconsistent provisions. Happy hours were banned, but full-day specials were permitted, and many restaurant and bar owners found other, clever ways around the law anyway.


Posted by on in BAIID

blood alcohol content, BAC, Illinois criminal defense lawyer, Illinois DUI attorney,Although all DUI charges are taken seriously in Illinois, being charged with a second or further offense can lead to critical penalties for you. One of the most important steps you can take after being charged with a DUI is to contact an experienced drunk driving defense attorney to manage your case. An experienced lawyer will review your case to ensure that your rights are protected and will work hard to advocate for you in court.

Multiple convictions can stack up and change how your charge is classified as well as what type of penalties you will face. Here’s what you need to know about the minimum punishments for multiple DUI offenses in Illinois:

  • A second conviction is categorized as a Class A misdemeanor with mandatory minimum prison time of five days (or 240 community service hours). Your vehicle registration will be suspended and your driving privileges can be revoked for five years
  • A third conviction is a Class 2 felony, leading to your driving privileges being revoked for a minimum period of 10 years with your vehicle registration suspended.
  • A fourth conviction is also classified as a Class 2 felony with driving privileges revoked for life with no relief.
  • A fifth conviction is a Class 1 felony with lifetime revoked driving privileges and vehicle registration suspension
  • A sixth conviction is a Class X felony with revoked driving privileges and suspended vehicle registration.

Depending on the conditions at your arrest, such as your blood alcohol level and whether you were transporting any minors, you could face even more serious ramifications. Getting charged with a DUI when you already have a conviction on your record is a critical matter and one that should lead you to hire a talented DUI attorney. If you have been charged with a second or beyond DUI offense, you need to contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney today.

criminal defense attorney, driving under the influence, DUI arrest, DUI defense, DUI in Illinois, Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois DUI arrest attorneyIf you are a parent who has been linked to a case involving underage drinking or underage drinking and driving, it’s imperative that you seek out an attorney today. Being connected to such a case can have risky consequences for you and your child.

If your child has been accused of underage drinking , then both you and your child will need an attorney to face these charges in court. Individuals under the age of 21 in Illinois can be convicted for violating the Liquor Control Act for the receipt, possession, purchase, or consumption of alcohol, leading to suspension of driving privileges for six months on first convictions. Subsequent convictions will lead to additional consequences.

As an adult, providing alcohol to someone under the age of 21 is a Class A misdemeanor. A parent who knowingly allows individuals under the age of 21 to consume alcoholic beverages inside a private home or other private property can also be found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. However, do not assume explicit consent or provision of alcohol is all that is required to be found guilty. Adults who fail to control access in the residence where alcohol is consumed by individuals under the legal age where this activity results in bodily harm to someone can be found guilty of a Class 4 felony.

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