Answers To Common DUI Questions
If you have been charged with misdemeanor or felony DUI in central Illinois, call for a free consultation with an attorney at Holley, Rosen & Beard, LLC, in Springfield.
Below are some frequently asked questions we often receive from people charged with drunk driving or related offenses. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your specific circumstances.
If I am pulled over by a police officer and suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol, should I “blow” into the Breathalyzer device?
ANSWER: While the answer to that question will differ depending on how much alcohol an individual has consumed, it is important to keep in mind that collecting breath samples and/or requesting drivers to perform field sobriety tests is for the purpose of collecting evidence against the driver. A police officer may tell you prior to administrating any tests that he or she only wants to determine that you are “ok to drive,” but they are actually more concerned with building their case against you. Finding yourself being asked to exit the vehicle and take a variety of tests usually means you are likely not going to avoid an arrest no matter what you do. Since that is often the case, refusing to take sobriety tests leaves the state without necessary evidence to later convict you of DUI. Likewise, when you are told by an officer that you will lose your license if you do not blow, it is important to know that you will also lose your license if you blow over the legal limit. This means that you will not only lose your license, but then the state will have strong evidence in the form of the Breathalyzer results on the DUI portion of the case. Finally, while most police officers do not mention this fact, there is a hearing procedure available to contest the “automatic” suspension. However, it is your burden of proof. Consult our offices for further details.
Because I took the Breathalyzer and “blew” over .08, which is over the legal limit in the state of Illinois, will I automatically be convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol?
ANSWER: No. First, there are many procedures required to properly administer a breath test. Improper administration of breath tests means that some errors could result in the test not holding up in court. Furthermore, even with a breath test result against you, the state must still prove that you are under the influence of alcohol. Finally, unlike an “automatic” suspension for blowing over the legal limit (or refusing to blow), there is no automatic conviction for driving under the influence. Every citizen has the right to a trial by a jury of his peers, wherein the state would have the burden of proving you guilty. Consult our offices for further details.
I am a first time offender, and I have recently been to court and the Prosecutor told me that I would be granted “supervision,” a fine and no jail time, if I plead guilty to DUI. This sounds like a pretty good deal. I was told that the supervision will keep the DUI from affecting my driving record, which I understand could lead to a difficult revocation, if I am convicted without supervision. Should I just go ahead and get it over with?
ANSWER: There is absolutely no drawback in pleading not guilty, requesting a trial and then consulting our office. Whatever offer that has been made will likely stay on the table. In Illinois, you are only allowed supervision for DUI once in a lifetime. There is no reason to use it prior to having an attorney review your case to determine if that in fact is the appropriate course. If an attorney can get your case effectively negotiated, reduced, thrown-out on a technicality, or won at trial, you have preserved your supervision in the event that you are arrested for another DUI. In fact, our offices have special reduced attorney’s fees for first offenders. Consult our offices for further details.
I had a trial and was found not guilty of DUI. I was told that my suspension is still ongoing. Is this true?
ANSWER: There is a hearing available to contest your suspension, which is not the same as a DUI trial. Although, your DUI and your suspension involve the same evidence, they are separate procedures. Unless you are successful in your “Statutory Summary Suspension” hearing (referred to above), your suspension remains for the duration of it. Success in your DUI trial does not change that, however, ironically, often the success of the DUI trial is the result of no breath test results, which would have meant that the suspension is longer due to a refusal. Consult our offices for further details.
I have multiple arrests (or convictions) for driving under the influence of alcohol. Will I ever be able to obtain an Illinois Driver’s License?
ANSWER: Yes. The proof necessary to obtain full reinstatement depends upon whether you are classified by the treatment provider as being a Significant Risk – Level II, High Risk – Level III Non-dependent, or High Risk – Level III Dependent. A High Risk, Level III Dependent needs to establish proof of abstinence, a good support system (preferably Alcoholics Anonymous) and verification of appropriate treatment. If the hearing officer for the Illinois Secretary of State is inclined to grant driving relief, he or she will likely issue a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) requiring a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID). The Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) is usually used by the hearing officer as probationary service prior to full reinstatement of driving privileges. Hiring an attorney experienced in the practice of driver’s license reinstatement, will certainly increase the chance of obtaining a restricted driving permit (RDP) and/or full reinstatement of driving privileges.
Call Us To Learn More
From offices in Springfield, our lawyers advise and represent clients in communities throughout central Illinois. Contact us at 217-280-4984 or 877-671-5884 to arrange a free initial consultation with an experienced Springfield DUI defense attorney at our firm today.