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DuPage County Prepares for Thanksgiving DUIs

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DuPage County DUI LawyerAs Thanksgiving approaches and the rest of the holiday season, DuPage County, Illinois, like many other areas, prepares for an increase in DUI (Driving Under the Influence) incidents. Law enforcement agencies and local authorities are taking proactive measures to ensure road safety during this holiday season. If you are arrested for DUI, you are strongly advised to contact a criminal defense lawyer. While hiring a lawyer will not guarantee a positive end to your legal situation, it will give you a fair chance at pursuing a favorable conclusion to your current legal woes.

Holiday Season Means Increased Police Presence

DuPage County law enforcement agencies are increasing patrols and may implement sobriety checkpoints during the Thanksgiving holiday. The goal here is to deter impaired driving and catch those who are allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The heightened police presence serves as an important reminder to motorists to make responsible choices and avoid driving while impaired.

Strict DUI Laws in Illinois

As is true in virtually all other states in America, if a driver in Illinois has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher, they may be charged with DUI. Additionally, Illinois has a zero-tolerance law for drivers under the age of 21, meaning any detectable amount of alcohol in their system can result in a DUI charge. People must understand the legal limits and consequences associated with DUI offenses.


Arrested For DUI Over Labor Day Weekend In Illinois

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dui-labor-day-weekend.jpgLabor Day weekend is almost upon us, and if you’re just counting down the last few hours in your cubicle until the long weekend is here, you’re probably thinking about the fun things you’re hoping to do this weekend. Maybe you plan on catching up with friends and family, or maybe you’re just planning on kicking back and relaxing. However, you plan to spend the long weekend, if alcohol is involved, make sure you don’t get behind the wheel and drive.

Labor Day weekend is one of the most dangerous weekends on the roads in Illinois and across the US. Weather conditions are still ideal, meaning people can travel at faster speeds, and the long weekend gives people more opportunities to consume alcohol. Coupled with the fact that there will be more drivers on the road, and you can see it could be a recipe for DUI disaster.

Illinois police have already announced that they will be conducting extra DUI enforcement throughout the long weekend as part of the nationwide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. Alongside extra patrols on major roads, police across the state have also announced a number of DUI checkpoint locations, so they will be doing everything they can to keep inebriated drivers off the road.


The Penalties For Underage DUI In Illinois

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underage-dui.jpgThe legal blood alcohol limit to operate a vehicle in Illinois is 0.08 percent, but it’s important to remember that standard only applies to individuals over the age of 21. If you’re under 21, the presence of any alcohol in your system renders you ineligible to legally drive a car. That means drinking half a beer then getting behind the wheel can lead to underage DUI charges, which can have major implications for your future. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at the potential penalties for underage DUIs in Illinois.

Zero Tolerance Law

As we mentioned in the intro, Illinois has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to BAC in drivers under the age of 21. It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel impaired or if you’re sure you could pass a field sobriety test; if you have alcohol in your system, you are considered in violation of the law and subject to criminal charges.

So let’s take a closer look at the process and potential penalties. If you are pulled over and suspected of drinking and driving as an underaged person, you have one of two options. You can choose to take the breathalyzer or you can refuse. If you take the breath test and blow above a .00 but below a .08, your license will automatically be suspended for three months as part of a zero tolerance violation. If you refuse to take the test, your driver’s license will be suspended for six months. Subsequent offenses result in a one-year license suspension for a positive test and a two-year license suspension for refusal.


The Legality Of DUI Checkpoints In Illinois

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DUI checkpoints catch hundreds if not thousands of drunk drivers in Illinois every year. But did you know that these checkpoints aren’t legal in every state? In today’s blog, we take a closer look at the legality of DUI checkpoints in the US and in Illinois, and we explain what you should do if you end up getting in trouble at a sobriety checkpoint.

Why Illinois Allows DUI Checkpoints

In order to understand that legality of DUI checkpoints, we need to take a closer look at a case that reached the United States Supreme Court back in 1990. In the case of Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz, 496 U.S. 444, the legality of sobriety checkpoints came under question. The defendant in the case argued that these checkpoints were inherently a violation of a person’s 4th amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. After all, police are essentially conducting a search of a driver without any reasonable suspicion that they may be in violation of the law.

In their ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in a 6-3 decision that given the responsibilities accepted by a driver when they get behind the wheel, sobriety checkpoints did not violate a person’s right to be protected against unreasonable searches. However, the highest court in the country also stated that the legality of these checkpoints could be decided on the state level based on a state’s constitution.


Whether you’re cruising on Lake Michigan or visiting one of the smaller lakes across Illinois, boating can be a very popular activity during the warm summer months here in Illinois. When you’re on the open water with friends and family, it can be easy to let down your guard and feel like you’re not held to the same standard of safety as you are when you’re driving a traditional vehicle on the road. That’s why so many boaters end up facing boating while intoxicated (BWI) charges every year in Illinois.

What you may find surprising is that boating while intoxicated charges are handled just like a traditional DUI, meaning the potential penalties in Illinois are steep. That’s why it’s so important to have a lawyer by your side should you find yourself facing BWI charges in Illinois.

Boating While Intoxicated In Illinois

One of the main reasons why so many people end up with boating while intoxicated charges is because alcohol consumption is handled a little differently when you’re on the water. Passengers and even the boat’s captain are allowed to have open containers of alcohol in their possession while the boat is in use, and obviously the same cannot be said for driving in a vehicle. However, it is illegal for the boat’s captain to be over the legal limit of 0.08 when they are operating or in physical control of the boat. This means that even if you’re just floating in the middle of the lake, if the driver is over the limit, they can be hit with a BWI even if they aren’t driving across the lake at the time they are stopped. The same can be said for smaller motorboats and personal watercrafts like Jet-skis.


Debunking Common DUI Myths In Illinois

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When it comes to drinking and driving, you’ve probably heard some stories that sound more like fiction than truth. Maybe you’ve heard that you can fool a breathalyzer by keeping a penny in your mouth during the test, or that you can’t get a DUI if you’re caught sleeping in your parked car. Are these facts, or are you misinformed if you take them as the truth? We explore some of the more common myths about DUIs in Illinois in today’s blog.

6 Common Misconceptions About DUIs In Illinois

Here’s a quick look at some of the myths we’ve heard about, and a quick explanation as to why they aren’t true.

  1. The Penny In The Mouth Trick – An old wives tale suggests that sticking a penny in your mouth will throw off the breathalyzer and either report your BAC as unreadable or as a zero. Unfortunately, this just simply isn’t true. Breathalyzers rely on a fuel cell that reacts with the alcohol in your breath on a sensor to indicate how much alcohol is present. The penny’s presence will not have any effect on this reaction.
  2. Sleeping It Off – If you have too many at the bar and decide you’re just going to sleep it off in your car, you’re protected from a DUI, right? Maybe not. Illinois DUI law states that you can earn a DUI as long as you are in “physical control” of the vehicle, and being in the driver’s seat can constitute physical control. Other factors will play a role in the case, like where the keys are, if the car was moved and where you were located when police found you in the vehicle. Simply put, don’t just assume you’re safe to sleep it off in your car.
  3. Safe At Home – If you drove home drunk, you might assume that you’re safe once you reach your garage. Again, this isn’t a given. If you were reported to police or you encounter a security guard at your apartment complex, they could still connect your BAC and your return trip home. If you exhibit all the signs of being impaired, and you were seen driving home or admit to recently driving, you can still be booked for DUI.
  4. Coffee Or Food Can Sober You Up – While it’s true that drinking on a full stomach can slow the metabolization of alcohol by your body compared to drinking on an empty stomach, there’s nothing you can eat or drink to lower your BAC once you’re drunk. Once you’re above the legal limit, no amount of tacos or coffee will help to reduce your BAC. Only time can get you back below the limit.
  5. You Can Only Get A DUI In A Car – You might think that DUIs only apply to cars, trucks and boats, but that’s not the case. A number of different motor vehicles qualify for the state’s DUI laws. Vehicles like ATVs, motorcycles, mopeds, lawnmowers, go karts, jet-skis and snowmobiles are all subject to DUI laws, so don’t think you’re immune if you’re on a recreational vehicle.
  6. DUI Charges Are Impossible To Beat – Our work as criminal defense attorneys will tell you that this statement is also a myth. Challenging a DUI is no easy task, but it’s certainly not impossible. If you have an experienced attorney in your corner and you follow their instructions, you can put yourself in the best position to beat a DUI charge. Considering the severe penalties that often accompany a DUI, it’s clear that you should put serious consideration into how you challenge the charges. If you do so with Brett and the team at Appelman Law by your side, we can help show you that DUI charges aren’t impossible to beat.

Understanding DUI Plea Options In Illinois

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We work very hard for our clients to help them achieve the best result in court, but sometimes the best option involves taking a plea deal to avoid the potential of a much more unfavorable outcome. Knowing about your plea options can help you make the best decision for your DUI case, so we want to lay out what’s available to you in today’s blog. Below, we take a closer look at your plea options if you’re facing a DUI charge in Illinois.

Three Plea Options

On the surface, there are three main ways you can plead when you’re called on in court. You can:

  1. Plead Guilty – Pleading guilty means you admit guilt to the levied charges.
  2. Plead Not Guilty – This statement suggests that you do not feel the charges are fair and you plan to contest the acquisition of guilt in court.
  3. No Contest – You are not admitting guilt for the charges, but at the same time, this admission means you are not going to contest the charges in court and the court can determine your punishment. It’s very similar to pleading guilty, but it holds its own category.

You might believe that the only time you’d need a lawyer by your side is if you planned to plead not guilty and challenge the charges in court, but that’s simply not true. A lawyer can be a great asset at any point in your case, but especially if it seems like a guilty finding is inevitable. If it seems pretty clear cut that you were in the wrong and you suspect you’ll have a tough time in court, consider working with a lawyer to see if a plea deal can be reached.


The easiest way to beat a DUI charge in Illinois is to avoid getting behind the wheel when you’re intoxicated in the first place, but nearly 100 people are arrested for drunk driving every day in Illinois, so we need defense strategies instead of just preventative actions. There are a number of ways to challenge the validity of your DUI arrest or the charge itself, and we want to quickly run through 15 of the most common ways we often challenge these arrests. For a more individualized plan to contest your DUI charge, reach out to our firm for a free case review session today.

Common Ways To Fight An Illinois DUI Charge

Here’s a quick look at 15 avenues we may look to explore when contesting your DUI charge.

  1. Breath Test Accuracy – We may contest the accuracy of the breath test results or work to determine that the device itself has not been serviced properly.
  2. Dash Cam Discrepancies – If the officer said you failed the field sobriety tests, but the dash cam video suggests otherwise, we’ll contest the officer’s report with this information.
  3. Testing Problems – Protocols need to be followed when collecting blood, breath or urine samples, and if they aren’t your case may be thrown out.
  4. Medical Issues – If you have certain medical issues or health problems, it can invalidate the results of your field sobriety tests.
  5. No Probable Cause – If police did not have legal cause to stop your vehicle, the evidence they collected after the stop may be inadmissible.
  6. Miranda Violation – If police didn’t read your Miranda rights, you may be able to have the case thrown out.
  7. Alcohol Absorption Accuracy – It takes your body some time to metabolise alcohol, so there’s a chance that you may have been under the legal limit at the time you were driving, but over the limit by the time you were tested.
  8. Conflicting Witness Statements – If witnesses say things that are omitted from the police report, you may have grounds to have the charges dropped.
  9. Illegal Search – Police need a warrant or consent to obtain some bodily substances, and absent of those factors, evidence collection may be invalid.
  10. Statement Inconsistencies – If officers provide differing statements, it could lead to questions about the accuracy of their testimony.
  11. Police Track Record – Some cops have a history of lying on the stand or misconduct. We’ll check into the arresting officer’s professional record to see if it could help your case.
  12. Interfering Substances – Medications and nail polish can sometimes affect a breath test, so we’ll see if your testing results could have been compromised.
  13. Due Process Violation – If you were denied due process that is guaranteed by the constitution, your charge may be thrown out.
  14. False Information – If police knowingly provide false information to a suspect, like that they have to consent to a search, this can lead to charges being dropped.
  15. Statute of Limitations – If charges are not brought in a timely manner, your case may be dropped due to a statute of limitations violation.

These are far from the only ways we can contest a DUI charge, but they are all avenues we’ve pursued to help our clients get justice. For more information, reach out to our firm today at (630) 717-7801.

The weather is warming up, and that means ATV season is beginning here in Illinois. Riding your ATV through the woods or along a secluded trail can be quite the experience, but we also get a number of calls each year from clients who run into a little trouble on their all-terrain vehicle. The most common ATV-related call we receive is about operators who have been charged with DUI on their ATV.

A driving under the influence charge is not unique to a motor vehicle like a car or a truck. In Illinois, a motorized vehicle that is primarily used for transportation can be subject to Illinois DUI laws, which means your ATV, your boat and even a golf cart are in play for a DUI. Below, we take a closer look at ATV-related DUI charges in Illinois, and what you should do if you’re facing a charge of riding while intoxicated.

DUI On An ATV In Illinois

Riding on an ATV tends to lend itself to drinking and driving more so than a standard vehicle. Many ATV trails take riders past bars or restaurants that serve alcohol, and if you’re going to be riding for a good portion of the day, you’ll likely stop to eat, and if you’re with a group of friends it doesn’t take much for a round or two of beers to be purchased.


Illinois State Police announced that it will be conducting extra DUI patrols throughout the remainder of March in a number of counties across the state, including DuPage County.

Aside from keeping more eyes on the roads to stop impaired drivers, the task force also announced specific locations where “Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement” will take place. Those areas include:

  • The Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) in Kane County
  • The Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) in Dupage and Kane counties
  • The Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355) in Dupage and Will countie

Police said that the patrols will be conducted during nighttime hours when drunk driving rates are at the highest. Unsurprisingly, they also said that they will take a zero-tolerance approach to getting impaired drivers and underage drivers who consume alcohol off of the road.

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