In a recent post on this blog, we discussed the basics of Illinois DUI law as well as possible defenses to DUI charges. Being accused of driving under the influence can have life-altering consequences. It is crucial that anyone charged with a DUI knows what their rights are as a criminal defendant as well as their legal options moving forward.
Refusing a Breath Test Does Not Prevent License Suspension
If you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI, police officers will ask you to submit to chemical BAC testing. While you technically have the option to refuse a breath test, doing so can have serious punitive consequences. Illinois has an “implied consent law” which states that anyone who drives a motor vehicle on public roads is considered to have given consent to a chemical blood alcohol content test. Refusing a breathalyzer or other BAC test after a DUI arrest results in the suspension of the suspect’s driving privileges. The summary suspension for the first refusal is a one-year license suspension. Refusing a breath test a second time within five years of the first refusal results in a three-year license suspension. Even if a suspect is eventually acquitted of DUI charges, you still have to contest the license suspension of your license to avoid these suspensions.
Aggregated DUIs Carry Harsher Punishments
A regular driving under the influence charge carries significant penalties, but certain circumstances can result in greater penalties for a DUI conviction. In Illinois, any felony DUI offense is classified as an “aggravated” DUI. A Third DUI conviction is an aggravated DUI offense and can carry a sentence of three to seven years imprisonment. A fourth DUI conviction carries a mandatory prison sentence.
DUI Resulting in Injury
The main concern with drinking and driving is the potential for other motorists and pedestrians to get hurt. A DUI which results in great bodily harm, disfigurement, or permanent disability to another person is considered a Class 4 felony, even if it is your first DUI arrest. And if your DUI which resulted in another’s death, a prison term is likely.
Contact a Grundy County DUI Attorney for Help
If you have been charged with driving under the influence, contact the experienced Joliet criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. today. Call 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.