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Your Rights When Approaching an Illinois DUI CheckpointStates disagree on the legality of DUI checkpoints – spots where police officers stop passing vehicles to see if drivers show signs of being intoxicated. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1990 that checkpoints could be legal but let states decide how to conduct them properly. Twelve states, including neighboring Wisconsin, consider them illegal because they stop drivers without establishing reasonable suspicion of a crime. Illinois is among the states that do allow DUI checkpoints. If you find yourself approaching a checkpoint, you need to understand how they work and your rights.

How DUI Checkpoints Work

Police can create a DUI checkpoint at any time and place but most commonly use them during holiday weekends at locations where DUI arrests are common. They may use media outlets to announce checkpoints in advance in hopes of discouraging drunk driving. Police must follow several rules in order to legally conduct a checkpoint:

  • They cannot select a location that would cause unnecessary traffic jams or create dangerous situations for drivers;
  • They must use signs, lights or signal flares to alert drivers of the upcoming checkpoint;
  • All officers and vehicles must be cleared marked as belonging to law enforcement;
  • They cannot unreasonably detain drivers who show no signs of intoxication or other suspicious activity;
  • They must have reasonable suspicion in order to force a person to step out of the vehicle or to search the vehicle; and
  • They cannot arrest someone without probable cause that a crime has been committed.

Your Rights

You are allowed to turn around to avoid a DUI checkpoint as long as you make a legal turn. If you do go through the checkpoint, you have the same rights as someone whom police have pulled over:

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Aggravating Factors Can Lead to Harsher DUI PunishmentsAn Illinois legislator is trying to make driving the wrong way on a one-way street an aggravating factor in cases involving driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The bill, proposed by State Rep. Michael Zalewski, D. - Riverside, has already been passed by the Illinois House of Representative and is being considered by the Illinois Senate. Advocates cite the number of fatalities and injuries that occur due to wrong-way crashes.

A court can use an aggravating factor as a reason to impose harsher punishment during sentencing. An aggravated DUI conviction is at minimum a class 4 felony, which includes a one- to three-year prison sentence. Wrong-way driving would be only the latest in Illinois' long list of aggravating factors.

Actions During Offense

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Illinois dui laws, Crystal Lake DUI Defense AttorneysAn arrest and conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol can lead to serious consequences for a driver. In addition to the possibility of jail time, drivers also face license suspension and fines that can seriously impact their lives. While these consequences are generally still in effect, this year brought with it new changes to Illinois DUI laws that will be a welcome relief to some drivers convicted of DUI.

Under the new changes, Illinois drivers who have two or more DUI convictions will now be required to have a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device installed on their car for five years, in addition to obtaining a Restricted Driver's Permit in order to drive their vehicles and later have their licenses reinstated.

A BAIID device records a driver's blood alcohol content after a driver blows into it, and therefore prevents the driver from driving if his or her blood alcohol level is over .025. BAIID devices also take photographs of the person blowing into the device to ensure the permitted driver is the one driving the vehicle. The Secretary of State has a division that monitors the installation of BAIID devices on the vehicles of eligible drivers, as well as monitors the readings from the devices.

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Posted on in Criminal Law

Field Sobriety Tests, Crystal Lake Criminal Defense LawyerOperating a vehicle while intoxicated is a serious offense under Illinois law. Law enforcement agencies in the state aggressively enforce DUI laws. In fact, more than 34,000 people were arrested for DUI during 2013, according to the Illinois Secretary of State's Office.

When a police officer pulls someone over and suspects him or her of being drunk, the officer must gather evidence to support this assertion in order to obtain a conviction. A tool often utilized to obtain evidence is known as the standardized field sobriety test (SFST)—a battery of three separate tests that are purportedly used to determine whether an individual is impaired by alcohol.

The Three Tests

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