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Cook County DUI defense lawyer underage drinking and drivingWhen examining traffic offenses or crimes that can be committed while driving, a DUI is one of the most serious charges one can face. The state of Illinois has cracked down on drunk driving in recent years for both underage drivers and adult drivers. Underage DUI is a very serious crime in Illinois. Not only is an offender violating DUI laws, but they are also violating the minimum drinking age laws. Having a teenage child who gets caught drinking and driving can be a nerve-wracking experience, but understanding the laws and the consequences for breaking them can help ease some of the uncertainty.

Zero Tolerance Laws

In an effort to reduce the number of teenagers who drink and drive, Illinois has adopted zero tolerance laws for drivers under the age of 21. Under these laws, any blood alcohol content (BAC) over .00 will result in charges. A first-time offender will lose their driving privileges for three months for any BAC that is over .00. They will lose their driving privileges for six months if they refuse to take a chemical test.

A second-time offender can expect to face much more serious consequences if he or she is caught drinking and driving while under the age of 21. A second offense under the zero tolerance laws will result in the loss of driving privileges for one year for a BAC over .00 or a loss of driving privileges for two years for refusing to take a chemical test.

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Orland Park DUI defense lawyerPolice officers are tasked with protecting our communities. However, as with any person of authority, laws exist to direct how and when police officers can use their power. One of these constraints involves the concept of “probable cause.” In order to pull over a motorist, a police officer must have a good reason for doing so. If you are facing charges for driving under the influence (DUI), and the officer who arrested you did not have probable cause to pull you over, your case may be dismissed.

Reasonable Suspicion of a Crime

To legally pull someone over, a police officer must have a reasonable suspicion that the person has broken the law or soon will. The term “reasonable” in this context means that most officers of average training and experience would conclude that illegal activity has occurred or is about to occur. In order for a DUI arrest to be legally warranted, it must be reinforced by probable cause. Put another way, there must be some type of evidence that justifies the belief that the driver was intoxicated.

Some of the common reasons police officers pull over motorists and make DUI arrests include:

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breathalyzer tests in Illinois, Orland Park DUI lawyerBeing pulled over, no matter the reason, is always an unnerving experience. If you are pulled over under the suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), it is possibly one of the most serious crimes a driver can face when it comes to breaking the law behind the wheel. The crime is severe, and the consequences can be tragic, especially when the offense could have been prevented entirely by taking a cab home or calling for help.

You must make a choice.

If you are an Illinois driver who has been pulled over due to suspicion of operating under the influence, one of the first things you can expect to face upon arrest is a breathalyzer test. Although you are confronted by law enforcement to submit to this test, it is up to you to refuse or submit. You have the right to make a choice. It is important to note, however, that many criminal defense attorneys encourage their clients to refuse to submit to the test, due to one major advantage: By refusing, you are preventing yourself from potentially failing it, which can ultimately help you in a court of law. It is important to consult with a qualified attorney if you refuse a breathalyzer test.

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