The Law Offices of Haytham Faraj
Top-Rated Chicago DUI Attorney
If you’ve been wrongfully arrested for driving under the influence, our Chicago DUI attorney can assess your case and determine if your rights were violated. Drunk driving is a serious offense that carries harsh penalties and fines. In an effort to crack down on alcohol-related fatalities and accidents, lawmakers have created strict rules for identifying and prosecuting those who violate drunk driving laws.
The Difference Between DUI and DWI
Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) are two charges used against drivers who operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, such as cannabis, prescriptions or controlled substances. Other states use the terms DWI, driving while ability impaired (DWAI) or operating under the influence (OUI) instead. In some areas, the terms DUI and DWI differentiate charges related to alcohol and drugs, but that is not the case in Illinois.
How DUI Is Defined
All 50 states use the blood alcohol level of .08 percent to define intoxication. Anyone who drives after consuming 12 ounces of beer, 3 ounces of wine or 1 ounce of liquor is legally intoxicated. Law enforcement officers assess your level of intoxication by observing drunk driving cues. If you are seen weaving out of your lane, driving erratically or ignoring traffic control devices, a police officer may initiate a traffic stop. Field sobriety tests, breathalyzers, blood tests and urine samples are used to determine if a driver is over the legal limit. However, you should note that refusing to submit to a chemical test can result in an automatic 12-month suspension and can make it more difficult for a Chicago DUI attorney to defend your case.
Penalties for Drunk Driving
Every year, drunk drivers cause hundreds of needless deaths, thousands of injuries, and millions of dollars in property damage and insurance claims. In an effort to protect the public, the Illinois legislature has created stiff penalties to punish those who drive under the influence. For a first offense Class A misdemeanor, drivers face one year in prison, a one-year driving suspension and a fine of up to $2,500. Substantial community service work may also be required. Penalties increase if you have been convicted of drunk driving in the past 20 years. Felony charges will be brought against anyone who is facing a third conviction or who caused an accident resulting in serious injuries. Penalties for injuring or killing another driver include a one-year suspension of driving privileges, 480 hours of community service and a fine of up to $25,000. Drivers also face mandatory imprisonment for 10 days and a sentence of up to 12 years. Your Chicago DUI attorney can use defense strategies to request leniency.
Underage drivers are involved in a disproportionate number of alcohol-related accidents. To protect young drivers and members of the public, Illinois has a zero-tolerance rule for drivers who are convicted of DUI while under the age of 21. Students who are under 21 may have their driver’s license suspended for a minimum of two years. They will also face one year of prison time and a fine of up to $2,500. Penalties for underage drivers who have multiple DUI convictions increase drastically. Your Chicago DUI attorney can fight to have these charges reduced or removed following a wrongful arrest.
Prosecutors can file charges with or without a blood alcohol test, and there are defenses to both approaches. Breathalyzers are not always accurate, and evidence might not be admissible if someone deviated from protocol. Your Chicago DUI attorney may argue that the results of field sobriety test are open to interpretation because the arresting officer did not follow the proper procedure. It is unconstitutional for an officer to initiate a traffic stop without reasonable suspicion of a violation. To develop the best defense, you need to hire a Chicago DUI attorney who can examine the evidence.
Why hire The Law Offices of Haytham Faraj, PLLC? Consider the following reasons:
- Haytham Faraj has a 10.0 Superb Rating on Avvo.
- He is the recipient of the 2014 ADC Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award.
- He has more than 25 years of experience in defending the wrongfully accused.
- He is nationally recognized for competent and professional representation.
Contact a Chicago DUI Attorney
If you have been accused of driving under the influence, contact a lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can see what evidence the state has, appeal the suspension of your driver’s license and build a defense. To request a free case evaluation with an experienced Chicago DUI attorney, contact the Law Offices of Haytham Faraj at 312-635-0800.