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Posted by on in DUI

Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerThe offense of driving under the influence is typically a state charge, meaning a person will be tried in state court and if convicted, possibly have to serve time in state prison. There are times when these offenses are charged and tried at the federal level. The penalties associated with a conviction of any federal offense are typically much harsher than sentences in state court. It is for this reason that it is particularly important that anyone facing federal DUI charges speaks to a federal criminal defense lawyer that can help.

What Is a Federal DUI Charge?

According to the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, a federal DUI offense occurs when a motorist drives a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams per 100 milliliters of blood. The federal statute also dictates that if the offense occurs within a state that has more restrictive laws, state law will supersede federal law.


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:
Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Illinois criminal statistics,Have you ever wondered which crimes are the most prevalent in the state of Illinois? While gun violence and homicide rates have captured the media’s attention lately, new numbers released by the Illinois Department of Corrections may indicate which crimes are actually the most popular in the state. The department surveyed the state’s inmate population of over 45,000 inmates spread across 25 correctional facilities, and recorded their offense in one of 28 categories, including murder, robbery, and burglary. Based on their findings, here are the top ten most common crimes committed by Illinois inmates. Robbery

Number of Inmates: 1,616

Percent: 3.3 In Illinois, robbery is theft of money or property through the use of violence of fear. Aggravated or armed robbery indicates a deadly weapon may have been used, or the victim of the robbery was injured. DUI

Number of Inmates: 1,651

Percent: 3.4 Drivers found operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of over .08 percent in Illinois will be charged with a DUI. While DUI rates have declined in America over recent years, DUIs still remain a common violation, and drugged driving rates are on the rise. Residential Burglary

Number of Inmates: 2,110


Posted by on in BAIID

raccoon, BAIID, internet hoax, Chicago criminal defense lawyerWhat do you get when you cross an intoxicated Navy sailor, an ignition interlock device, and raccoon? Well, if you believe everything you read on the internet, you get a creative way to start a car and very angry furry passenger. Although highly entertaining, it turns out that the story, like so many others in recent years, was the result of an active imagination, subsequently overshared and under-verified.  Various news outlets have since confirmed the viral account as a hoax, albeit with no small measure of amusement.

All From a Single Image

The story began with a post on the picture-sharing site Imgur, which allegedly showed an incident report originating at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California. According to the report, a Navy petty officer left a bar and needed to start his personal vehicle which was equipped with a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID). Too drunk to meet the device’s requirements, he supposedly captured a raccoon rummaging in a trashcan nearby, and squeezed its body to provide the breath sample needed by the BAIID to start the car, leaving the animal unconscious. The man, the story continued, left the raccoon in the vehicle and began driving. A short time later, the animal regained consciousness and attacked the driver, causing an accident that ended up with the vehicle in an in-ground swimming pool.


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.

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