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Joliet Criminal Defense Blog

A DUI conviction can hurt your car insurance rate

Imagine driving home in Joliet on a Friday night. You had a long week at work and met up with some friends for happy hour to unwind. Only a few blocks from your house, you suddenly see a police officer behind you. A few seconds later, the officer switches on the lights and pulls you over. Now, you could be facing a driving under the influence (DUI) charge and its far-reaching consequences.

You probably already know that a DUI conviction could come with jail time, heavy fines and maybe even the loss of your driver's license. You could also feel some consequences at work, especially if your job requires you to drive. Another place where you could take a hit is in car insurance rates. Here are a few ways that a DUI might affect your car insurance.

Is it possible to trick an ignition interlock device?

There are several things people say will trick an ignition interlock device to make it appear as if you aren't intoxicated when you are. The ignition interlock device's job is to make sure your vehicle does not start if you are intoxicated when you get inside. If it was easy to trick, then many people would end up driving while intoxicated.

It's nearly impossible to trick an ignition interlock device because of the way the new generation of machines works. The new machines allow for rolling retests, which means that you have to blow into the machine and retest your breath while you're driving. If you fail the test, the horn and lights begin to activate, making you pull over to avoid detection.

Don’t make one of these mistakes at a DUI checkpoint

Imagine this: You're driving down the road, minding your business, and you see some commotion ahead. Soon enough, you realize that you're inching closer and closer to a DUI checkpoint.

Even if you are 100 percent alcohol free, you may have some fears about driving through a DUI checkpoint. After all, you never know what could go wrong when you come face to face with a police officer.

What’s the best way to fight a traffic ticket?

There are times when fighting a traffic ticket is the best thing you can do. There are also times when you may come to realize that paying the fine and moving on with your life makes the most sense.

Here's what you need to remember: A traffic ticket can impact you in many ways, such as leading to a license suspension and/or car insurance premium increase. So, if you have reason to believe that one of these consequences will come into play, it may be time to fight back.

When can I win a drunk driving defense?

Before discussing the situations in which you could win your DUI defense, it's important to address the misconception that – if you're crafty and clever enough during your legal process – you can always achieve a verdict of not guilty.

However, it's important to keep in mind that lawyers are not miracle workers. Sometimes, when a conviction is likely, the best a defendant can achieve is a plea bargain agreement, in which the defendant pleads guilty in exchange for a reduction in punishment. A reduction in punishment can serve to make the defendant's life a great deal easier, so even if you get convicted, there is the potential to receive tremendous value from the criminal defense process.

Illinois has harsh DUI penalties to deter future offenses

When you've gotten arrested and charged with a driving under the influence (DUI) offense, you may worry about your options. Many people tend to assume that roadside sobriety tests and breath tests are infallible. Concern about that sentiment among jurors or people you know may make you feel like pleading guilty is your best choice. In reality, a guilty plea leaves you at the mercy of the court.

When it comes to DUI offenses, even if you don't have a previous criminal record, you could face the maximum penalties. Judges tend to view DUI offenses as social crimes and their punishments as social statements. Even if no one got hurt, the nature of your offense is that you placed other people in danger with your decisions. The judge wants to make a point to keep you and others who hear about your case from making the same mistake and endangering others on the road.

Understanding the standardized field sobriety tests

Most people understand that it is never a good idea to drink too much alcohol and then get behind the wheel. However, there are times when a person only has a drink or two, which can make it difficult to determine if it's okay to drive.

With driving under the influence continuing to contribute to traffic accidents throughout the country, police are cracking down on this behavior. Unfortunately, this means that officers often make mistakes when pulling drivers over and conducting field sobriety tests.

Are DUI roadblocks legal in Illinois?

If you're facing charges that resulted from a traffic stop at a roadblock, you may be wondering about that law enforcement tactic. It may not seem quite fair, even a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. When did simply getting behind the wheel of a car create reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop and sobriety test? Before delving deeper, it's important to note that it's critical to your future to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you are facing driving under the influence (DUI) charges in Illinois.

Roadblocks aren't the only reason why those who were not intoxicated could face DUI charges. Other issues could arise from a faulty breath testing unit or any number of plausible causes during a major roadblock initiative.

What to do when you're facing DUI charges in Illinois

If you or someone that you love has been stopped by law enforcement, either as part of a routine traffic stop or during a DUI enforcement checkpoint operation, it's important that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. It's important that you make a record, either written or recorded, of the events that transpired leading up to the arrest or citation, particularly if you believe that your civil rights were violated by law enforcement during the stop or checkpoint interaction.

DUI charges have serious consequences, and it's important that you take these charges as seriously as the state of Illinois will.

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