DUI enforcement initiatives are attempts by law enforcement patrols to stop and cite drunk drivers, and the Fourth of July presents law enforcement with an obvious opportunity to increase enforcement efforts. The Fourth practically begs friends and family to come together and celebrate outdoors with brats, beer, and fireworks. Sometimes, the festivities get a bit out of hand, and DUI charges can ensue. If you were charged with DUI during an Independence Day surge, the consequences can be extremely serious and you need skilled legal counsel to protect your rights and your future.
Illinois DUI Statistics
In Illinois, a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence (DUI). A driver with a BAC between 0.05 and 0.08, however, may be convicted on DUI charges if there is additional evidence that supports a claim of impairment. Further, the presence of drugs in your system (even your own prescription) can complicate the issue. The State of Illinois shares several significant statistics (from 2016) related to driving under the influence:
- About 25 percent of the 1,078 traffic fatalities were alcohol-related.
- Nearly 30,000 DUI arrests were made.
- About 92 percent of those drivers who were arrested for DUI and who were eligible to lose their driving privileges did lose them.
- About 86 percent of those drivers arrested for DUI were first-time offenders.
If you’re facing DUI charges after a Fourth of July enforcement surge, you’ve got a lot to lose and you need an experienced DUI defense attorney. The consequences of a DUI conviction are extremely serious, and your case is far too important to leave to chance. The dedicated legal team at Martin & Kent, L.L.C., has the determination, experience, and skill to aggressively fight your conviction and to help shield you from potentially harsh consequences. Our knowledgeable DUI defense attorneys care about your case, and they’re here to help.
The Professional Consequences of a DUI
A DUI conviction brings serious consequences that can include steep fines, lost driving privileges, and even jail time. Such a conviction, however, can also exact steep professional costs:
- Medical and legal professionals must disclose DUI convictions to their licensure boards and to any disciplinary boards. A failure to do so can result in the revocation of licensure. Further, doctors may be required to undergo a hearing before the board to determine if they remain fit to practice medicine. Additionally, professional malpractice insurance premiums are bound to increase precipitously with a DUI conviction.
- Many professionals, including firefighters, police officers, and teachers, are required to face their own professional disciplinary boards upon a DUI conviction. Consequences range from the revocation of certification or licensure to suspension, discipline, or job loss.
- Commercial drivers are held to stricter BAC thresholds and harsher consequences. These drivers can even permanently lose their commercial driving licenses.
While losing your driver’s license can certainly take its toll on your career, professional sanctions are even more dire. The professional consequences of DUI conviction should never be discounted. If you’re looking at DUI charges, you need experienced legal counsel.
It’s a common scenario. You’ve been charged with a DUI on Independence Day and you feel like your only choice is to bite the bullet and just see what happens. This approach, however, is not in the best interest of your case or your future. An experienced DUI defense lawyer can help you bring your case to its best possible resolution. In fact, your attorney will have a variety of valid defense mechanisms at the ready:
- Arbitrary stops. The police are prohibited by the U.S. Constitution from arbitrarily stopping citizens without first having a reasonable suspicion that something criminal is in the works. This means that the arresting officer must have witnessed you doing something that made him or her think you were under the influence.
- Field sobriety test failures. When officers conduct field sobriety tests (FST), they must adhere to specific protocols. Failure to do so can mean the suppression of any evidence obtained—especially if the officer was overtly intimidating or inappropriate in his or her methods. Finally, FSTs aren’t, in and of themselves, proof of intoxication—they’re only effective proof when they corroborate other evidence.
- Improper blood testing. If your blood is tested upon arrest, it must be done via appropriate blood-alcohol analysis by a licensed phlebotomist within an appropriate timeframe. Any unreasonable delays, inferior testing standards, or improper storage of samples can qualify as a defense against the results.
- Interference from a medical condition. Certain medical conditions can resemble being under the influence of alcohol. For example, the diabetic side effect called ketosis can cause the sufferer’s breath to smell like alcohol and can even affect a Breathalyzer test.
DUI charges are not as straightforward as you probably think, so don’t be intimidated into simply facing the charges and shouldering the consequences. Experienced DUI defense attorneys understand the system and will leave no stone unturned in building a strong defense against your DUI charge. Your rights are far too important not to fight for them.
If You’re Facing DUI Charges, Contact Martin & Kent, L.L.C., Today to Speak with an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’re facing DUI charges, the potential consequences of a conviction are extremely serious and extremely expensive. No matter your situation, you owe it to yourself and to your future to consult with an experienced DUI defense attorney before moving forward with your case. Laws related to DUI charges are complicated, and just because you’ve been charged doesn’t mean you don’t have legal options. In many cases, there are defenses available that require legal training to recognize, so failing to have a lawyer review your case could result in a completely avoidable DUI conviction.
The dedicated DUI defense attorneys at Martin & Kent, L.L.C., in Wheaton, Illinois, have more than 45 years of combined legal experience, and we have the commitment, skill, and drive to advocate for your case’s most positive resolution. We’re here to help, so please give us a call 24 hours a day at (630) 474-8000.