The winter holiday season is something many of us look forward to. We get together with friends and family to share special meals and often, a holiday cocktail or two. Oftentimes, people celebrating do not keep track of how many drink they have had. They end up driving home with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the Illinois legal limit of 0.08 and are charged with driving under the influence (DUI).
While Christmas and the surrounding days are generally considered a family holiday, they are still linked with an increase in drinking and driving traffic fatalities. The number of traffic stops related to drinking and driving increases by over 30 percent on Christmas Eve. New Year’s Eve, which is known for partying and binge drinking, is an even more dangerous night to be driving. In fact, more than 42% of the traffic accidents on that day are a result of drinking and driving. It is especially bad in years that New Year’s Eve falls on a weekend.
Serious Criminal Consequences and Loss of Driving Privileges
If you are pulled over by the police and tests determine that your BAC is 0.08 or more, or if you refuse testing, your driving privileges will be suspended, and you will likely be charged with DUI. While yor suspension and charges are pending, you will be allowed to continue driving for 45 days which gives you time to fight the arrest and suspension. After this period, first-time offenders who fail chemical testing for blood alcohol content will have their license suspended for 6 months. Those who are suspected of driving under the influence and refuse to submit to chemical BAC testing will have their license suspended for 12 months for a first offense. Repeat offenders will face a one-year suspension for failing a test and three years for refusing.
Because driving under the influence is so dangerous to other drivers, the criminal penalties for a DUI are severe. For first-time DUI offenders, the penalties could include driver’s license and registration revocation, a maximum imprisonment of six months in jail, a fine of at least $1,000, community service, and required participation in a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program. Any subsequent charges of DUI only increase the punishment in both fees, fines and jail time.
Police know that these holidays are times of increased drinking and will therefore have more officers patrolling the roads. In order to avoid a DUI this New Year’s Eve, have a designated driver, use public transportation or a ride sharing program, or simply do not get into a car if you have been drinking.
Facing DUI Charges?
If you are facing DUI charges, you need an attorney that is proficient and knowledgeable in this area of the law. Rely on a skilled Joliet criminal defense attorney to protect your rights while building an aggressive defense strategy on your behalf. The Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba provides every client with a meticulous review of their case using years of experience and reliable resources. Contact our office today at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.