“Driving Under the Influence” is defined as operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, other drugs or intoxicating compounds.
Over 48,000 people are arrested for drunken driving in Illinois each year. Of those Illinois DUI arrests, almost 40,000 are first-time offenders.
In Illinois, a driver is legally considered to be under the influence if he or she has a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, has used any illegal substance, or is impaired by medication. A driver’s BAC is based on the ratio of alcohol to breath or blood. However, an individual with a BAC between .05 and .08 may be convicted of DUI if additional evidence determines that the driver was impaired.
What can happen when you are arrested?
DUI offenders can range in background and age, but according to Illinois state data, most are young men who have been caught driving in the early morning. In 2011, men between the ages of 21 – 24 had the highest DUI arrest rate in Illinois, while about a quarter of DUI arrests were women, and nearly 2/3 of the state’s DUI arrests were under the age of 35.
If you are arrested for a DUI, the police may tow your vehicle. In order to have your vehicle released you have to pay an what is called a DUI impound fee.
For example, the DUI impound fee for most towns is $500.00. However, Chicago charges $2,000.00 and up (as high as $3,000.00 if a person is pulled over within 500 feet of a park or school).
Additional impound fees in Chicago:
• $1,000.00 for drag racing
• $2,000.00 if narcotics are found in the car
• $1,000.00 for driving on a suspended or revoked license
• $2,000.00 for fleeing and eluding.
These fees will have to be paid before you can have your vehicle released. Once you pay the fee, you may request a hearing to try to get the fee back. Specific instructions on how to request a hearing are provided when you pay the fee.
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Law enforcement agencies throughout the United States have developed a no-tolerance policy toward the connection between drinking and driving. From state to state, penalties have become harsher and blood alcohol content minimums required for arrests have lowered considerably.
Being charged with a DUI is not a light matter — it is a serious crime that can severely impact yourself and others. Most drivers who are arrested in Illinois for a DUI not only can face the loss of driving privileges but also fines and possible jail time.
Being convicted of driving under the influence can also impact your life in many ways you may not be aware of, including loss of employment, higher insurance rates, prevention of employment in certain jobs, severe financial setbacks, personal and family embarrassment, and having that conviction on your driving records for years―perhaps even forever.
If you are facing charges for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you need an experienced attorney to fight for you. A Chicago DUI attorney can represent you in court and before administrative hearings. Contact us today for a consultation on your case.