DuPage County DUI Defense Attorneys
Seeking to Protect Your License, Freedom and Reputation
If you are behind the wheel and see flashing red lights and a spotlight in your rear-view mirror after a night of drinking, the experience can be heart stopping. Police officers and prosecutors aggressively pursue convictions in driving under the influence (DUI) cases because of political pressure and concerns about public safety. While the prospect of being stopped after drinking alcohol or ingesting drugs can be nerve wracking, our experienced DuPage County DUI lawyers at Ramsell & Kunowski, L.L.C. have successfully defended thousands of people charged with impaired driving type offenses.
An officer may arrest you for DUI after you submit to a chemical test that reveals you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or above, or the officer determines that you were intoxicated based on your driving, field sobriety tests and visual and auditory observations during a stop. Our Illinois drunk driving defense attorneys have extensive experience defending drivers charged with alcohol and drug impaired driving offenses. Our founding partner Donald Ramsell was named an “Illinois Leading Lawyer in Criminal-DUI Defense” by Crane Magazine. Our DUI defense firm has been handling DUI cases since 1986, so we know the courts, judges and prosecutors. This experience handling local cases for over 30 years provides a distinct advantage for our client.
What You Should Do If You Are Stopped After Ingesting Alcohol or Drugs
As frightening as it can be to be pulled over if you have been drinking or using drugs, your ability to remain calm can mean the difference between going to jail and going home. Unless you are stopped while driving through a DUI checkpoint, officers usually will pull you over for driving in an erratic fashion or violating a traffic law. When you are stopped the officer will request your license, registration and proof of insurance. You are required to comply with this request. However, the officer will then attempt to ask specific questions about your activities, such as:
- How much have you had to drink?
- Where are you coming from?
- Do you mind if I search your vehicle?
These questions are a trap, so you should decline to provide answers. This line of questioning serves a dual function. The officer is seeking incriminating answers that contribute to probable cause for an arrest. This period of questioning also provides an opportunity for the officer to observe you for signs of intoxication like bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and the odor of alcohol on your breath. An advisable approach to dealing with this situation is to indicate you are not comfortable answering any questions without your attorney present. It is also advisable to ask if you are free to leave.
The officer will at some point ask you to submit to field sobriety tests (FSTs) and a roadside breath test with a portable breath testing device. Drivers are under no legal requirement to submit to either of these forms of testing, which are administered to gather further evidence of probable cause supporting an arrest. There is nothing to gain by taking these tests, so you should only consider participating if you have not ingested ANY drugs or alcohol.
Penalties for a DUI Conviction in Illinois
If you are arrested for DUI, you will be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor that can result in some or all of the following penalties for a first offense:
- Maximum of one year in jail;
- Fine up to $2,500;
- Six month driver’s license suspension;
- DUI classes;
- Drug and alcohol testing;
- Installation of an ignition interlock device; or
If you have prior DUI convictions or chemical test refusals, the punishments will be even more severe. The punishment imposed also will increase if you are involved in a collision. If someone suffers serious bodily injury or dies in a collision you caused while intoxicated, you may face more serious charges.
Effective DuPage Drunk Driving Defense Strategies
Our experienced Illinois DUI lawyers carefully investigate to identify potential defenses, which might include:
- Challenging the sufficiency of the basis for the stop;
- Attacking compliance with procedures in administering field sobriety tests;
- Demonstrating that your BAC rose over the legal limit between the time of the stop and breath test;
- Exposing improper procedures in administering blood, breath or urine tests;
- Revealing factors that might have compromised breath test results like mouth alcohol, low carb diets, diabetes and other factors; and
- Challenging whether the breath testing device was properly calibrated and functioning properly.
These are only a few examples of DUI defense strategies that our DuPage County DUI attorneys might use to protect your driving privileges and to keep you out of jail. We invite you to call us today at 630-256-8001 or to send us an email to schedule your free consultation in our conveniently located office in Naperville, or we can even come to you if you are in custody. We also have offices in Wheaton and in St. Charles or Rolling Meadows by appointment. We are ready to start fighting for your future.