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Frequently Asked Questions About DUI Charges in Illinois

Will County Drunk Driving Defense Attorney

Q. What Is Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Illinois?

A. Illinois law states that a driver is guilty of DUI if he or she operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other intoxicating compound. A person may be found to be under the influence based on a police officer's observations that the person was acting or driving erratically, slurring speech, or showing signs of confusion. The law also provides that a person is automatically considered to be under the influence for exceeding the statutory limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) or THC concentration.

Q. What Is BAC?

A. BAC stands for blood alcohol content, which is a measure of the amount of alcohol in a person's system. Blood alcohol content means the grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, not an exact percentage, contrary to popular belief. The legal limit for BAC in Illinois is 0.08 for drivers aged 21 and over. The legal limit for BAC is 0.04 for commercial driver's license holders operating a commercial vehicle. The legal limit for BAC is 0.00 for drivers under 21 years old.

Q. Can I Be Charged With DUI with a BAC Less Than 0.08?

A. Yes. If a breath, blood, or urine test shows that your BAC is at least 0.05, DUI charges are possible, presuming there are other signs of intoxication. If your BAC is below 0.05 and you are in a private vehicle, you are presumed to be not under the influence.

Q. Can I Refuse a BAC Test?

A. Anyone who drives on Illinois roads is presumed to have given their consent to submit to BAC testing upon arrest on suspicion of DUI. If you refuse a breath, blood, or urine test, you will not face additional criminal charges, but your driving privileges will be automatically suspended for one year for a first offense. The suspension is three years for a second or subsequent offense. The suspension is in addition to any penalties that result from the DUI prosecution.

Q. What Are the Penalties for a First DUI Offense?

A. In most cases, a person's first DUI offense is handled as a Class A misdemeanor, with possible penalties of up to $2,500 in fines and up to one year in jail. A conviction also results in a one-year revocation of driving privileges. While jail time is possible, most first-time offenders are not sent to jail. In fact, there various programs and alternatives to conviction that are designed to help first-time DUI offenders.

Q. What Is a BAIID?

A. Drivers whose licenses have been suspended as the result of a failed or refused BAC test or revoked following a DUI conviction are often eligible for driving relief programs. To participate in such programs, a driver must have a breath-alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) installed on his or her vehicle. A BAIID will prevent the car from starting unless the driver provides a breath sample to show that he or she is not over the legal limit.

Q. Can a DUI Arrest Be Expunged or Sealed?

A. Illinois law allows for the expungement of the records related to most arrests that do not result in a finding of guilt, including some arrests that are resolved through court supervision. A DUI arrest, however, can only be expunged if the charges are dismissed or the accused is found not guilty. Record sealing is also unavailable for DUI charges. Therefore, it is important to work with a DUI defense attorney who can help you avoid a conviction.

Call 815-744-2500 Today

If you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence, contact our office. Call 815-744-2500 for a free consultation at the Law Office of Eric J. Blatti, P.C. today. We serve clients in Joliet, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Lockport, Shorewood, and Will County.

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