Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in DUI

Wheaton dui lawyer breath testVirtually all experts concede that one breath test is unreliable in DUI cases. However, in Illinois, only ONE breath test reading at a police station is required!

The Illinois Supreme Court has remarked that breathalyzers are not foolproof. This concession by Illinois’ highest court has been the law of the state of Illinois for over 30 years. People v. Orth is considered THE authoritative case on summary suspension law and what is needed for the prosecution to lay the foundation for a breath test at a criminal trial. Orth was decided back in 1988. 

Originally, breath test rules were made by the Illinois Department of Public Health. After years of litigation and some discoveries from THIS FIRM at trials, rule making authority for breath testing passed to the Illinois State Police. Yes, the very same people trying to obtain arrests, guilty pleas, and convictions get to decide the rules on what needs to be followed for a breath test. Even with this being the case, there are many times where police officers do not follow the Illinois State Police regulations found in the Illinois Administrative Code.

If all of the above issues were not enough for reasonable doubt, breath testing itself is subject to various inaccuracies. First, it is pure and undisputed science that there is a level of uncertainty when measuring anything. The level of uncertainty when measuring something is called the uncertainty (or Heisenberg) principle. Second, Illinois State Police’s own guidelines allow for a plus or minus 12.5% variance when calibrating breath test machines. Next, breath test machines are “self checked” for accuracy by computer and almost never in person. Last, breath test machines are not specific for ethanol, meaning types of artificial sweeteners, yeast, and mints can all trigger an artificially high breath test reading. If someone has a supposed breath reading of .08 or .09, these inaccuracies can prove to be helpful in obtaining a not guilty verdict!

For other information on how breath testing is inaccurate, contact Ramsell & Associates today to see how any and all of these factors can play a role in YOUR DuPage County DUI defense!

Last modified on

Wheaton dui lawyer non-standard field sobriety testImagine a world without standardization. What if Illinois posted its speed limits on roads strictly in metric terms and Indiana in standard ones? What if each of the fifty states had its own unique form of currency? 

To prevent unequal application of field sobriety tests across these United States, the federal government, through its administrative agency the United States Department of Transportation, promulgated uniform tests known colloquially as the HGN, WAT, and OLS. The idea is to make sure everyone in the country gets the identical testing and it does not vary from city to city, state to state, or region to region.  

Thus, if anyone attempts to offer a field sobriety test that is anything other than the official standardized ones, they are per se invalid no matter what an officer may tell you. These invalid variants can be saying the alphabet backwards, closing your eyes and touching the tip of your nose with an index finger, or any other crazy thing some lawman can make up. The point is, unless the test is from the United States Department of Transportation promulgated battery of tests, they are invalid.


Last modified on

DuPage County DUI defense attorney invalid field sobriety testThose of us of a certain vintage can remember old depictions of DUI investigations such as from United States Department of Transportation public service shorts featuring the likes of actor Dana Andrews and from TV and the movies where lawmen seemingly decided a driver’s sobriety by made up and widely different on the spot tests.

To avoid this scenario of different tests and presumably different results, field sobriety tests for alcohol have been standardized nationwide into the basic three: horizontal gaze nystagmus, nine step walk and turn, and one leg stand. Thus, if an officer deviates from the standard tests and asks you to close your eyes, tilt your head back, and touch the tip of your nose with each of your index fingers, that is a per se invalid test, as it is not among the standard three. Likewise, if a policeman asks you to recite the Gettysburg Address or the alphabet backwards, those too are per se invalid. Even if in haste, you tell the policeman, “Take me drunk ossifer, I’m home!” relying on that alone to judge a man impaired by alcohol would be a deviation from the standard tests and invalid. 

Regardless, these nonstandard tests can, in some instances, be used as persuasive but not controlling evidence of impairment, so do not rack your brain trying to figure out if your arrest was standard versus atypical, call the Wheaton DUI defense professionals at Ramsell & Associates LLC and come in immediately for your free, no obligation attorney consultation! 

Last modified on

DuPage County DUI attorney civil criminalIn Illinois, when someone is facing a DUI charge, it is important to know if he or she has previously been arrested for a prior DUI and what the result of that case was.  Unfortunately, in Illinois, prior DUIs do not go away, and the prosecutor can look back over the entire period of your life. This is unfortunate for many reasons.

First, it is always important to remember that there are two sides to a DUI – a civil portion and a criminal portion. The civil portion essentially refers to your driving privileges. There is a five-year look-back. So, when there is a prior DUI within in the past five years, you are no longer a first offender. So, if you are arrested for a DUI, and you refused chemical testing, you are now facing a three-year summary suspension, as opposed to one year, but WITHOUT the ability to get a BAIID. And if you did provide a chemical test, and it came back as one of the prohibited substances, then you are now looking at a one-year summary suspension, as opposed to six months, without the ability to get a BAIID installed. This can dramatically change how to approach your case. Call and speak to a skilled DuPage County DUI defense lawyer at Ramsell and Associates to start building a defense.

The criminal portion of a DUI is handled differently. Here, the prosecutor will look back over your entire life. So, if you had a prior DUI in the 90s and have been a law-abiding citizen ever since, the prosecutor can still put that prior DUI and use it against you during sentencing. This means that not only are you facing a criminal conviction, but you are facing a driver’s license revocation.

This also applies to felonies too. So, if you had two DUIs when you were younger in the 80s and have been a law-abiding citizen ever since, you are still looking at a felony DUI.

It is very important you contact a skilled DUI defense lawyer in Illinois. Being able to analyze your case includes your prior DUI arrests. Call and speak to a skilled Wheaton DUI defense lawyer at Ramsell and Associates to start building a defense NOW.

Last modified on

Wheaton first time DUI with drugs lawyerThere are a range of penalties for a first time DUI in Illinois involving drugs.

For one, a first time DUI without any aggravating factors is a class A misdemeanor in Illinois. There is a range a punishment for any class A misdemeanor that a judge can impose, the maximum being 364 days in the county jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

However, as a first offender, you are eligible for what is known as court supervision. If you are found guilty or plead guilty, the judge will sentence you to a period of time (usually between 12 and 24 months). During that time, you would have to complete some counseling and attend a victim’s impact panel. The most important thing is NOT getting arrested during those months. At the end of the period, you will have to come back to court, show the judge you completed everything, as well as not picked up any new charges, and the case will be dismissed. Please contact a DUI attorney NOW to see if you qualify for this type of outcome.

Court supervision, however, can be stressful. You are still guilty, and now you are under the court’s power for the next 12 to 24 months. For some cases, court supervision can be an excellent outcome. But for someone who is NOT guilty, it is not so desirable. You will need a skilled DUI defense attorney to analyze your case and tell you whether you should attempt to negotiate for court supervision or fight it.

Also, DUI involving drugs still involves either a 6- or 12-month summary suspension. If you provided urine, blood, or other bodily fluids, and an illegal substance came back, or a prescription drug in which impaired you, or a certain amount of cannabis, then you are facing a six-month suspension. If you refused, then you will face a 12-month suspension.

You are still eligible for driving relief. Assuming you are a first offender, you can get a BAIID installed. However, the BAIID is used to detect alcohol consumption, not drugs. This may seem ridiculous, and it is. But it is the law as it stands right now.

Contact a knowledgeable DuPage County DUI defense attorney at Ramsell and Associates right away to see what you qualify for and to see if there is any way to stop the suspension from happening.

Police officers make many mistakes. You will need a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney at Ramsell and Associates to figure out the best way to fight this case.

Please do wait, and contact Ramsell and Associates immediately to get started. A DUI is severe., and you will probably have to fight it tooth and nail. Every little detail matters. Being found guilty of this type of offense is life-ruining.

Last modified on
10.0Donald John Ramsell Donald John RamsellClients’ ChoiceAward 2016 Donald Elite Lawyer 2020
1-800-Dial-DUI America's Top DUI & DWI Defense Attorneys
Super Lawyers
Leading Lawyers Network The Top Lawyers
1-800-Injurys America's Personal Injury Attorneys