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Drinking and Boating Can Cost You Your License

Boating DUI JolietFor many, spending an afternoon on the water may be an ideal form of relaxation. There are few things better than cruising around the lake in a boat while enjoying the company of friends or family. It is hardly surprising, however, that a large number of boaters also incorporate alcohol into their recreational activities. When alcohol use leads to drunken boating or boating under the influence, the situation can quickly turn dangerous or even deadly. In addition, a person found to be operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs may face charges and penalties similar to those for operating a motor vehicle under the influence .

Deadly Accident Leads to Updated Laws

In 2012, a 10 year old Libertyville boy named Tony Borcia was boating with his family on Petite Lake , part of Illinois’ popular Chain O’Lakes. The young boy was riding on inflatable tube being towed by his father when he fell off the tube. Despite Tony’s bright red lifejacket, a large boat struck the boy, killing him instantly. The driver of the second boat was later found to have been under the influence of alcohol and cocaine at the time of the crash, and was subsequently sentenced to a 10 year prison term.

Following the incident on Petite Lake, several law changes have been made in Illinois regarding boating under influence. New measures went into effect concerning implied consent for chemical testing on the part of any boater involved in an accident causing serious injury or death. Failure to submit to testing, exceeding legal blood-alcohol content limits, or positive tests for drugs will result in a statutory summary suspension of the individual’s driver’s license.

On January 1, 2015, legislation became effective that allows law enforcement to seize watercraft involved in certain offenses related to drunk boating. Violations of operating under the influence and careless or reckless operation of a boat or personal watercraft may lead to the seizure and impoundment of an individual’s boat or watercraft. Additionally, boaters who are towing water-skiers or riders on a tube must display an orange safety flag to notify other boaters of their activities. In doing so, Illinois officials hope to prevent another tragic accident like the one that claimed the life of young Tony Borcia.

Legal Help for Boating Offense

If you have been had your license suspended for boating under the influence or are facing any type of related charges, you need a lawyer who will fight to protect your rights. Contact an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney to schedule your free initial consultation. We will review your case, explain your options, and help you decide what your next steps should be. Call us at 815-740-4025 today

Good Samaritan Law and Illegal Drug Use

Good SamaritanWith the many dangers of drug use so regularly emphasized, it is extremely concerning that illicit drug use continues to plague the country. Apart from being highly illegal , the use and abuse of substances such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines can have serious consequences on an individual’s health, lifestyle, and family relationships. In an effort to curb the most serious health impact, however, state laws throughout the United States, including Illinois, have been enacted to provide limited criminal immunity for those would seek emergency help for someone experiencing a drug overdose. Known as Good Samaritan Laws, such measures look to save lives by addressing the health dangers of a potentially deadly situation before legal concerns.

The use of heroin in Illinois has started capturing statewide attention, as there has been a significant increase in heroin-related activity and overdoses in recent years. In Will County, for example, there were 5 reported deaths attributed to heroin overdoses in 2000, a number which exploded by 2012 to 46. DuPage County similarly reported 42 heroin-overdose deaths in 2012, and numbers throughout the area are similar.

In that same year, however, the state legislature decided that it was time to take action in protecting the lives of Illinois residents. Passed in February of 2012, and taking effect in June, the law colloquially known as a Good Samaritan Law offered, for the first time, a level of protection for individuals acting to help a person who may overdosing on an illegal drug. Specifically, the measure states that a person is experiencing an overdose, or “who, in good faith, seeks or obtains emergency medical assistance for someone experiencing an overdose” will not be prosecuted for felony possession of illegal drugs.

There are certain limits to the law’s reach however, as it specifically applies to a limited amount of an illicit substance that was found or acquired as a result of the call for help. For example, a person in need of help or the caller found with less than three ounces of heroin by the responding authorities will be immune from possession charges. If probable cause for arrest or the detaining of a person existed prior to the need to seek emergency assistance, the Good Samaritan Law does not interfere with law enforcement’s right or ability to pursue the case.

As with any criminal prosecution, the details of each case are unique. If you are facing drug possession charges as the result of calling emergency services for friend in need, a qualified lawyer can help you understand your options under the law. Contact an experienced Will County criminal defense attorney today for a free consultation. We will work to protect your rights throughout the process and minimize the impact to your future.

Zero Tolerance for Underage Drinking and Driving

Zero ToleranceParties, family get-togethers, and spending time with friends; while such events can offer a great deal of fun, they can also create danger when a person who celebrated a little too much gets behind the wheel of a car to drive home. Most adults have some idea of how much is too much, but for those under 21 in Illinois , any level of alcohol intoxication can lead to serious consequences under the state’s Zero Tolerance Law.

For individuals under the age of 21, the consumption of alcohol alone is against the law . A person found guilty of possessing, purchasing, or consuming alcohol underage may have his or driving privileges suspended for up to 6 months for a first conviction. A second conviction results in a year’s suspension, and subsequent offenses will in result in the revocation of the individual’s driver’s license.

An underage person who is found to be driving with alcohol in his or system is subject to prosecution on at least two separate charges , depending on the amount of alcohol. As with a driver over 21, an underage driver operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher may be charged with driving under influence or DUI. First-time underage offenders face a two-year mandatory license suspension, fines of up to $2,500, and up to a year in prison. A second offense is punishable by up to a five-year revocation of the offender’s license, in addition to fines and prison sentences. Other factors, such as causing an injury or death, DUI without a valid license or insurance, for example, may further increase penalties.

In addition to DUI, an underage driver found to have a BAC higher than 0.00 percent is also subject to penalties under the Zero Tolerance Law. Operating a vehicle with any trace of alcohol in an underage driver’s system will result in three month suspension of driving privileges. The suspension is increased to six months upon the driver’s refusal to submit to BAC testing. A second offense results in a one-year suspension, increased to two years with refused testing.

If your child is facing charges under the Zero Tolerance Law or charges of DUI, contact an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney . At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, we understand the impact that a conviction can have on a family and are prepared to fight

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