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DuPage County Criminal Defense LawyerMost people are familiar with the blood alcohol content (BAC) “legal limit.” In Illinois and 48 other U.S. states, the blood alcohol limit is 0.08 percent. However, few really understand what that means. You may ask yourself, “Does having a BAC over the legal limit mean I will be convicted of drunk driving?” or “Can I beat DUI charges even if I fail a breathalyzer?”

Understanding Breath Alcohol Tests

There are two main types of breath tests or “breathalyzers” used in Illinois. Usually, when a police officer stops someone and recognizes signs of potential intoxication, the officer will ask the driver to blow into a breathalyzer machine. This roadside breath test is different from the breath tests conducted at the police station. Roadside tests are preliminary tests used to justify a drunk driving arrest. However, these tests are not foolproof, and preliminary BAC test results are not admissible as evidence in a DUI case.

The breath test at the police station is an evidentiary test. The results of this test are admissible in court. However, blowing above 0.08 percent does not automatically mean you will be convicted of driving under the influence.


IL DUI lawyer Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and other drugs is a danger to all, including the driver, others on the road, and any passengers in the driver’s vehicle. Any DUI charges in Illinois can result in serious consequences, but certain factors make the charges more severe. For example, Illinois recognizes that children under the age of 16 often have little choice but to get into a vehicle with an intoxicated driver, such as a parent who has authority over them. Drivers who abuse their authority by putting minor children at risk are thus subject to additional consequences when they are convicted on DUI charges.

Additional Penalties for DUI With Passengers Under the Age of 16

In Illinois, a first conviction on DUI charges is a Class A misdemeanor. While state law allows a jail sentence of less than one year for a crime of this magnitude, the court will often issue a more lenient sentence for first offenders, perhaps including fines and court supervision in lieu of imprisonment. However, leniency is much less likely if there was a passenger under the age of 16 in the driver’s vehicle at the time of their arrest. In this case, a first conviction will likely include six months of imprisonment, and the offender will also be ordered to pay an additional $1,000 fine and complete 25 days of community service that benefits children.

The penalties only increase with subsequent convictions. A second DUI conviction in Illinois is usually still a Class A misdemeanor, albeit with increased administrative penalties and community service requirements. However, if the second conviction involves a minor passenger, it will instead be charged as a Class 2 felony. This means that conviction can include a sentence of up to seven years in prison, along with fines and community service requirements.


Online DUI Classes or In-Person DUI Classes?

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Illinois DUI defense lawyerThough they are not a new thing, online DUI classes have become more mainstream. They were once only available to individuals who did not have a physical class near them, but now anyone can choose this option. However, it is not the right DUI class for everyone. Learn more about the online classes, including how they compare to physical classes and how it is that you can determine if they are the right option for you.

Advantages to Online DUI Classes

Being forced to attend a physical class is embarrassing and inconvenient on many different levels. First, you must ask for time off work to attend, which means you are going to miss out on the income you need to pay for your class and fines. You also need to arrange a ride to the class; this may require asking a friend, neighbor, or family member that may not know about your DUI arrest. So, now everyone knows about the mistake you made. Online classes can help you avoid all this trouble.


The Flawed Science of Field Sobriety Tests

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DuPage County DUI defense lawyerAlmost everyone has seen, heard of, or experienced a field sobriety test. However, few people realize that these tests are based upon flawed science. In fact, one news source found that passing a field sobriety test is difficult, even when one is sober. Add in the stress, anxiety, and fear of actually having to go through it, and you have a recipe for a wrongful DUI conviction. Learn more about the flawed science of field sobriety tests, and how you can fight back against your DUI charge, with help from the following.

News Team Asks Sober Mall Goers to Complete Test

In 2013, NBC News stopped three people in a local mall and asked them to complete the field sobriety test. All three of them failed at least one portion. Balance issues and sleep deprivation were said to be some of the reasons that these folks struggled, but the truth is that these tests are far more difficult to pass than one might expect.


Understanding the Consequences of Underage Drinking in Illinois

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DuPage County underage DUI attorneyIllinois has some of the strictest drinking and driving laws in the nation. In fact, even first-time DUI offenders are at risk for losing their driving privileges for a year or longer. Underage drinkers do not fare any better. In fact, the penalties for minors could, in some cases, be more severe than those experienced by adults. If you or someone you love is facing an underage DUI or other alcohol-related offense, the following can help you understand the consequences, and how an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help you avoid them.

Underage Drinking Consequences When it comes to underage drinking and legal consequences, driving is not required. Minors (those under the age of 21) can be penalized simply for possessing, purchasing, receiving, or consuming alcohol - up to three months of a suspension on their driving privileges and at least six months of court supervision for a first offense. Subsequent offenses carry even heavier penalties, and could, in some cases, result in a complete revocation of a minor’s driving license. Transporting alcohol under the age of 21 is also considered a serious offense, and can result in a mandatory one-year suspension of the driver’s license. Zero Tolerance for Driving Under the Influence In some ways, underage drinking and driving is more serious than a DUI case for an adult. True, their license suspension period may be less (three month suspension for first-time minor offenders compared to a year or longer for adult offenders), but minors face a zero tolerance policy. This means even a trace amount of alcohol in their system can result in a DUI charge. This can be problematic - not just because of the consequences themselves, but also because there are many substances that can trigger a positive test on a breathalyzer. For example, some chewing gums, mouthwashes, and even lip balms contain trace amounts of alcohol. Protecting Your Rights in an Underage DUI Case Because they do not have the same experiences as adult drivers, minor DUI offenders are far more likely to simply accept the consequences of a DUI charge. They may say things that could incriminate them, and they are far less likely to contact an attorney on their own. Yet they have the exact same rights as adults - the right to remain silent, to legal counsel, and to fight their charges in a court of law. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help. Contact Our Experienced DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyer If you or your teen are facing criminal charges for an alcohol-related offense, contact the Law Offices of Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law. With more than 30 years of experience, we will aggressively represent your case. Whenever possible, we seek to mitigate the charges. In some instances, we may even be able to have the charged dropped completely. Learn more by scheduling a consultation with our DuPage County criminal defense attorney. Call us at 630-260-9647 today. Source:

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