DUI, Extreme DUI, and Superextreme DUI Claims – Chicago DUI Attorneys
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, you need to speak with an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to ensure your legal rights are protected throughout your case. From the moment you are arrested, anything you say or do can be held against you in subsequent criminal proceedings. Therefore, the sooner you speak with an attorney, the better.
What is the difference between DUI, extreme DUI, and superextreme DUI in Illinois?
In Illinois, the penalties for driving under the influence vary depending on the driver’s blood alcohol content, whether other passengers or drivers were injured, and whether the driver has been arrested for driving under the influence in the past.
A driver is guilty of driving under the influence in Illinois if the driver’s blood alcohol content is .08 percent or higher. The amount of alcohol a driver needs to consume to reach a blood alcohol content of .08 percent varies significantly depending on the driver’s weight and alcohol tolerance and whether the driver has consumed other drugs or medications. For some drivers, just a couple of drinks may be enough to exceed the legal limit and result in a DUI charge.
A first DUI offense with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher may result in a revoked driver’s license for a period of at least one year and the suspension of the driver’s vehicle registration. Illinois laws state that up to one year in jail is also possible for a first offense. However, most first-time offenders do not face any jail time. Subsequent offenses result in harsher penalties, such as higher fines and increased jail time.
In 2001, Illinois legislators created the “extreme DUI” criminal offense. If a driver’s blood alcohol content is .16 percent or greater, the driver will be subject to additional penalties. These include a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and at least 100 hours of community service.
Some states have also enacted “Superextreme DUI” statutes, where severe penalties are imposed for drivers with a blood alcohol content of .20 percent or higher.
Are there any defenses to DUI charges?
There are defenses that those arrested for DUI may raise to have their charges reduced or dismissed.
The Breathalyzer is commonly used in DUI arrests. The Breathalyzer is a device used to determine a driver’s blood alcohol content. Of course, the Breathalyzer relies on technology, and technology does fail. Human error on the officer’s part may also result in an incorrect reading.
In addition, if the officer violates your constitutional rights, your charges may be dismissed. For example, did the officer read you your Miranda rights before you were arrested? Did the officer have probable cause to pull you over? The officer must have had a legitimate reason to stop you prior to your arrest.
You may also present defenses to your performance on field sobriety tests. For example, if you were injured, you may not be able to perform the tests properly. In addition, you may appear to be intoxicated when you were not—for example, your bloodshot eyes may have been caused by seasonal allergies, not by being under the influence of alcohol.
With an experienced attorney on your side, your legal rights will be protected.
Have you been arrested for DUI?
If you have been charged with DUI in Illinois, do not delay in seeking legal counsel. Our criminal defense attorneys are both aggressive and experienced in DUI claims. Call today for your free initial consultation and learn about your legal rights and the options afforded you.