Why You Can Get Multiple Tickets for One DUI

joliet dui lawyerPeople arrested for driving under the influence will often walk out of the police station with two or three DUI tickets (different charges for the same DUI). But, a person can only be convicted once for a single drunk driving incident. So why would the police write up multiple charges (tickets)?

Seven DUI Charges Are Possible in Illinois

To answer this question, we must first look at Illinois DUI law. Under Illinois statute 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a), there are seven possible ways to be charged with DUI:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol;
  • An evidentiary test reveals a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher;
  • Driving under the influence of any other drug(s) that render the person incapable of driving safely;
  • Driving under the influence of any intoxicating compound(s) that render the person incapable of driving safely (e.g., inhalants such as acetone or toluene);
  • An evidentiary test reveals any amount of a substance that is (a) listed in the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, which has been unlawfully consumed, (b) listed in the Use of Intoxicating Compounds Act, or (c) methamphetamine as listed in the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act;
  • An evidentiary test conducted within 2 hours of driving reveals a THC concentration of 5 ng/ml of whole blood or 10 ng/ml of another bodily substance. (For medical cannabis card holders, this standard does not apply; other tests will be used to determine if the person was driving impaired.); and
  • Driving under the combined influence of alcohol, intoxicating compounds, or drugs that renders the person incapable of driving safely.
    Why Police Write Up Multiple DUI Charges

If you look at county court dockets that list upcoming trials and pre-trial hearings, some of the DUI cases will list only one charge while others will list two or more charges.

  • The General DUI Charge: When there is just one DUI charge, it is typically the general charge of DUI of Alcohol, DUI of Drugs, or Driving under the Combined Influence of Alcohol, Drugs, and or Intoxicating Compounds. In those cases, the accused probably refused evidentiary testing. The other possibility is that the person tested below the legal limit for alcohol, but was still judged to be driving impaired. You can be convicted of DUI in Illinois with a BAC above .05 but below .08 if there is other evidence that your driving was impaired.
  • The Test-Based DUI Charge: When there is a second DUI-related charge, that usually means the person submitted to evidentiary testing. For any blood-alcohol result over the legal limit, the charge is Driving Under the Influence/BAC 0.08. For any drug test over the legal limit (which is zero), the charge is DUI Any Amount of Drug. The police write up both the general charge and the test-based charge so that if one charge is thrown out in court (e.g., the BAC test result is dismissed as invalid), there could still be a conviction on the other charge.
  • Additional Substances Charges: Where there is a third DUI-related charge, it is typically for something other than the common alcohol or drug charges. For example, someone might be charged with the two drug-related DUI charges explained above and also be charged with DUI Intoxicating Compound.
  • Non-DUI Traffic Violations: A person’s case may also include other non-DUI charges, such as tickets for making an improper turn, disregarding a traffic signal, improper lane usage, or illegal transportation of alcohol. Such tickets can serve as further evidence that the person was driving impaired.

Call a Knowledgeable Will County DUI Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested on one or more DUI charges, be sure to explain the full circumstances of the incident and your arrest to an experienced Joliet DUI defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, we are familiar with the ways our local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and courts typically handle DUI charges. We will look for ways to get each charge dismissed or reduced and work hard to get you the most favorable outcome. Contact us at 815-740-4025 for a free and confidential consultation.

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