Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a very serious, yet common, crime in Illinois. It is important that all drivers in the state familiarize themselves with the laws, consequences, and defenses of the Illinois DUI laws.
What is a Illinois DUI?
Many factors must be in play in order to convict a person of DWI. A person can be convicted of a DWI when that person drives, operates, or is in physical control of a motor vehicle:
- When the person is under the influence of alcohol or a hazardous substance that affects the nervous system, brain, or muscles of the person so as to substantially impair their ability to drive or operate a motor vehicle; or
- When the person is under the influence of a combination of any two or more of the elements named above; or
- When the person’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) at the time or as measured within two hours of the time of driving, operating, or being in physical control of the motor vehicle is .08 or more; or
- When the person’s body contains any amount of a controlled substance listed in schedule I or II, or its metabolite, other than marijuana or tetrahydrocanabinols.
In Illinois it is illegal to drive, operate, or be in physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more. Illinois DWI law also states that any driver with the mere presence of any scheduled controlled substance in their blood can be charged with a drunk driving offense. Further, an officer may arrest a driver for suspicion of driving while impaired even if his/her blood alcohol content is under .08, provided the officer feels the drunk driver was operating the vehicle in a manner indicating that the driver was impaired.
If you have been placed under arrest for violating DWI laws, you will be required to take a test to determine your blood alcohol concentration. An officer can only demand a test when there is probable cause to believe that you are under the influence. If an officer asks you to take a test, it will be a breath, blood, or urine test. It is the officer’s decision which of the three tests will be offered, not yours.
Each of the three tests can give flawed results for numerous reasons. In order for there to be a valid sample, officers must follow specific and rigid procedures to ensure that each test gives an accurate result. Observation periods and collection procedures can be extremely important in determining if the test was given correctly. If the police do not follow the correct procedures while obtaining your blood alcohol concentration, the results of the test may be invalid.