Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.

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815-666-1285

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Joliet, IL DUI defense attorney

Several things happen when a driver is pulled over under suspicion of driving under the influence in Illinois. After the police officer approaches the car, he or she may observe any unusual behavior or appearance of the driver. Officers will look for signs of drunkenness, including blood-shot or watery eyes, slurred speech, and the smell of alcohol. If the officer suspects impairment, he or she will ask the driver to exit the vehicle to perform a DUI field sobriety test. The officer can also administer a chemical test, but most of the time that kind of test is performed after a driver is taken into custody on suspicion of DUI and arrives at the police station.

What Types of Field Sobriety Tests Are Performed?

An officer may ask a driver to perform several different tasks during a field sobriety test, such as counting by fives or reciting the alphabet backward. However, there are three main types of standardized field sobriety tests that are recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  1. The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test: In the HGN test, the officer holds up a finger or pen and moves it back and forth, asking the driver to follow it with his or her eyes only. If there is substantial jerking of the eyes, or if the driver cannot follow the movement, the driver fails the test.

  2. The Walk-and-Turn Test: The driver is asked to take nine steps in a straight line before turning and taking another nine steps in the opposite direction. An officer is looking for lack of balance during the walk. If the driver has to stop to regain his or her balance at any time, uses his or her arms for balance, or takes the wrong amount of steps during the test, the driver fails the test.

  3. The One-Leg Stand Test: The officer will ask the driver to stand on one leg and count up from 1,000 until he or she is instructed to put his or her foot back down. If a driver loses balance or has to put his or her foot down before the test is over, the driver fails the test.

Since these tests are performed on-site at the stop, usually on a sidewalk or empty street, there are several factors that could make them inaccurate, which is why a driver may refuse to perform the tests. For example, even a sober person is likely to fail these tests if he or she suffers from a certain physical disability or a mental disorder that would prevent him or her from doing the tasks correctly. 

These tests may also be unreliable because of conditions at the testing site that could factor into a sober driver failing the sobriety test. If the pavement is wet or icy, this could throw off a person’s balance while performing the one-leg stand or the walk-and-turn tests.

Refusing a field sobriety test will typically result in the officer taking the driver into custody and performing a chemical blood alcohol test. The chemical test can also be refused, but the officer will then typically obtain a warrant for the test to be taken. The Illinois Secretary of State automatically suspends a motorist’s driving privileges for refusing to submit to chemical testing.

Contact a Joliet, IL DUI Defense Attorney

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious crime in Illinois. There are several consequences for a conviction, including loss of driving privileges and hefty fines. If you believe your rights may have been compromised during a traffic stop or field sobriety test, hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton P.C. to build your defense. To schedule a free consultation with a Will County criminal defense lawyer, call 815-666-1285.

 

Sources:

https://www.alcohol.org/dui/field-sobriety-test/

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

 

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Getting arrested for a DUI in Illinois can, undoubtedly, result in a DUI conviction. It is not necessarily the only charge you will face, though. In fact, a single DUI arrest can result in multiple charges. Some can result in serious consequences. If you or someone you love was recently arrested for driving under the influence, the following can better help you understand the situation and possible consequences. You can also learn how to fight the charges, and where to find assistance for your case.

Situations That May Lead to Multiple Charges

Not every DUI case will result in multiple charges, but those that do typically have either additional moving violations (i.e. speeding, driving on a suspended license, etc.) or an element of harm to another road user. However, you can also receive additional charges if you have minor passengers in your vehicle, or were operating a commercial or transit vehicle at the time of your arrest. Further, charges may be added if you have created property damage in an automobile accident and were allegedly intoxicated at the time.

Possible Consequences of Additional Charges

The potential consequences of an additional charge will depend greatly upon the charge itself. Many are classified as felony charges, which tend to carry heavier penalties. First, there is the risk of spending a year or longer in prison. Second, a conviction means a permanent scar on your record - one that could place your future at risk. You may struggle to obtain housing and employment, and could have your license suspended for a significant period of time. Lastly, additional charges may result in monetary fines and restitution to victims.

Fighting Your Charges with Quality Legal Defense

Regardless of the evidence against you, or the situation you are facing, it is possible to fight back against the charges. You should avoid trying to do so alone, however. Instead, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can help to mitigate the charges on your behalf. In some cases, it may even be possible to have the charges completely dismissed. You will never know, though, if you do not take the first step.

If you or someone you love has been arrested on a DUI or other charges, the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. is the name to remember. Seasoned and committed, our Joliet criminal defense lawyers will fight to help you avoid the consequences of criminal charges. We defend your rights, interests, and future. Schedule a consultation to learn more. Call 815-666-1285.

Source:

http://www.daily-journal.com/news/crime/multiple-charges-in-dui-crash/article_a8fdd1be-9ca8-5412-a5d9-a674f6f22fc5.html

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