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McHenry County traffic defense lawyerBy now, we have all seen and heard the campaigns encouraging us to put our phones down while driving. Over the last few years, safety groups and even the cell service carriers themselves have consistently reminded drivers to stop texting while driving. Unfortunately, the public does not seem to be heeding these warnings. A law that was passed last year, however, made it possible for Illinois drivers to lose their driving privileges for illegally using their phones while driving. If you are a person who struggles to put your phone down behind the wheel, you should know the potential risks of such behavior.

Disappointing Texting and Driving Statistics

State Farm, an insurance industry leader, recently conducted a survey to gauge attitudes among the general public about using a cell phone while driving. The results of the survey suggested that most people realize the dangers, but far too many drivers use their phones anyway. Over 80 percent of respondents reported that they knew that using a handheld cell phone to make or receive calls was dangerous, but fully one-half of respondents acknowledged they used a handheld device for calls while driving. Nearly all of the survey’s participants—95 percent—said they knew that texting while driving was dangerous and distracting, but more than one-third—35 percent—said they text in spite of the dangers.

In the state of Illinois, it is and has been against the law to use a cell phone or another electronic device to send and receive messages, use apps, and access internet sites while driving. Talking on a cell phone without using a speakerphone or a hands-free function is also illegal. The penalty for a first-time violation is a fine of $75, and a second offense will result in a fine of $100. The fine increases to $125 for a third violation, and a fourth or subsequent offense is punishable by a fine of $150.

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dui, labor day, illinois traffic offenses, traffic stops, moving violations, crystal lake dui defense attorneysLabor Day weekend is one of the biggest holidays in the United States. People across Illinois celebrate by gathering the family and friends and grilling, all while relaxing and watching some football. However, many of these gatherings often include drinking and often end with people getting in their cars and trying to make it home while under the influence. Because it is statistically more probable to find people driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) over Labor Day weekend than many other times of the year, the Illinois State Police often step up their highway patrols, pulling drivers over relentlessly in an attempt to find those who are over the legal limit. These attempts at finding the few people on the roads who were drinking before they got behind the wheel, however, often result in innocent people being harassed, searched, and charged with minor traffic violations while police desperately try to find evidence to support a DUI charge.

Illinois Police Pull Over Drivers in Force

Over the course of the Labor Day weekend for 2016, the Illinois State Police made nearly 7,000 traffic stops across the state. This staggering number significantly outpaces their typical rate for traffic stops over a weekend, even a long weekend.

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