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Lake County Driver's License & DUI Law Blog

4 violations Illinois police will crack down on this weekend

With Labor Day coming up this weekend, we are all reminded that the end of summer is just around the corner. This weekend you may be heading to the cabin, having a celebratory barbecue or heading out on the open road for a road trip with the kids before school starts.

But you will likely be confronted with some congestion and road delays on your way from point A to point B, as Labor Day is a very popular weekend for people to travel. Not only will there be increased traffic levels, but there will also be increased Illinois police patrols out looking for drivers in violation of some specific laws. Knowing what these laws are could help drivers avoid them.

What factors can affect field sobriety test performance?

If you have recently been pulled over and accused of drunk driving, it is quite possible that it was the first experience you've had with this type of situation. Undoubtedly, you were probably very nervous, scared and intimidated, even if you do not think you are legally intoxicated.

These emotions can actually affect how a person performs during the field sobriety tests that are conducted. In fact, there are a number of factors that can negatively impact a person's performance of these tests that have nothing to do with alcohol. Understanding what these are could help you determine if and how it might be appropriate to defend against DUI charges.

Results from annual truck safety enforcement blitz released

The trucking industry is crucial to the success of businesses across the world; it also provides employment opportunities to thousands of people. However, given recent news stories, it is also an industry that has come under fire lately in terms of safety. 

Accidents like the one involving comedian Tracy Morgan, which was allegedly caused by a trucker who was speeding and driving in violation of the Hours of Service regulations, have led to increased scrutiny of the trucking industry. However, an annual trucking inspection blitz paints a clearer picture of how well truckers and companies are -- or are not -- complying with state and federal regulations.

Out-of-state drivers and Illinois license suspension

Getting a traffic ticket for a serious offense can be very upsetting for anyone. Not only do people generally worry about how they will pay for fines and increased insurance premiums, but in some cases they face the possibility of losing their driver's license. 

For some people, it might not seem like a big deal to not be able to drive. People living in major cities may have easy access to a robust public transportation system or some folks may have a family member or friend who does not mind transporting them. But Illinois traffic violations and license suspension can have a surprising impact on drivers, especially those who live in another state or move out of Illinois.

Ignition interlock devices and Illinois drivers

Being charged with a drunk driving offense can be the first step in a series of serious challenges for drivers across Illinois. If convicted of a DUI, drivers can expect to face increased insurance premiums, fines, potential jail time and restricted driving privileges. Subsequent arrests for the same offense can often result in escalated penalties.

However, first-time offenders may have the opportunity to minimize some of these consequences. For example, a driver arrested for a first offense may be eligible for license suspension relief with the installation of a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device. 

New bill means drivers can keep licenses in Illinois

Until recently, drivers in Illinois faced a unique penalty as a result of getting pulled over and ticketed for a minor offense. According to state laws, drivers were required to hand over their license as a promise to respond to the ticket either by paying the fine or appearing in court.

This meant that if a driver was stopped and ticketed for speeding or improper lane usage, he or she would have to actually give up their driver's license temporarily. Without a license, people aren't able to make certain purchases like alcohol, check in for a flight or get into age-restricted establishments. Without this ID, a person could end up facing serious limitations for what is ultimately a minor violation.

However, a new bill recently signed by Gov. Pat Quinn has provided some much-needed relief for drivers in this situation.

What are the consequences of a DUI conviction in Illinois?

Drivers in Illinois know that drunk driving is against the law. However, the fact is that people make mistakes and drive when they might have had one too many drinks.

It is crucial for those people who end up getting stopped by police officers and charged with a drunk driving offense in Illinois to take the charges they are facing seriously. The penalties of a DUI conviction can range from inconvenient to life-changing, and knowing what is possible might prompt drivers to understand how important it is to defend against charges.

How do restricted licenses and reinstated licenses compare?

When your driving privileges are on the line or have been either suspended or revoked indefinitely, it can be easy to assume there is little if anything that can be done. People in similar situations often think that there is no action they can take or alternative solutions to be found to minimize the damage of not being able to drive.

However, many drivers in Illinois may be eligible to pursue driver's license reinstatement or restricted driving privileges.

Question of traffic stop mistake heads to US Supreme Court

Drivers all across the U.S. are expected to comply with traffic laws, even if we don't fully understand them or know they exist. Some drivers learn this lesson the hard way when they are pulled over and the officer asks "Do you know why I'm stopping you?" Many surprised drivers in this position have truthfully answered, "No." 

However, even if a driver does not know that he or she has violated a traffic law, he or she can still get a ticket and face the consequences. Ignorance of the law is generally not a defense. But shouldn't police be held to this same standard? This is the debate heading to the U.S. Supreme Court in a case involving a police officer who pulled a driver over for what he believed to be a violation. The problem, however, was that the officer was wrong.

State Supreme Court reverses Midwest man's DUI conviction

Fighting a charge for drunk driving can be a complicated and lengthy process. However, if you feel you have been wrongfully accused or convicted of the offense, it can be crucial to protect yourself against unwarranted penalties and take steps to defend yourself. 

One many recently found success in this process after he was charged and convicted of DUI in a Midwest state. A magistrate court and appellate court both supported the conviction; but the man persisted and ultimately, his case went to the state Supreme Court where the conviction was overturned. The man's situation might be very similar to those that drivers across Illinois have faced or will face, so it can be helpful to understand how this case played out.

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