The Law Offices of William Margolin

DUI / Drunk Driving


Driving under the influence of alcohol is a Class A misdemeanor punishable up to 364 days in jail and a $2500 fine. It also may result in the loss of your driving privileges. There are several important issues that come up in DUI cases, many of which are time sensitive! The facts of each individual case differ and no one can give advice until they have had a chance to sit down and talk with you. Generally however, a DUI is actually like two cases. The first case has to do with your license being suspended. The second case is the criminal charge of DUI.

The first issue is the Statutory Summary Suspension that most people receive that tells the Secretary of State to suspend your Driver’s license on the 46th day after you fail or refuse a breath test. Depending on your facts you MAY qualify for relief in the form of a MDDP driving permit that will allow you to drive anytime, anywhere, for any reason with a breath machine installed in your vehicle. You also need to know about reinstatement fees and procedures.

Then the next step is the criminal case. There are many things that need to be done including requesting and reviewing the police reports and videotapes. There are also possible motions to suppress evidence or quash arrest, and negotiations that need to take place on your behalf. Additionally you need to be made aware of what consequences you may face as a result of any plea agreement you make regarding your driving privileges. There also might be a need for either a bench trial or jury trial to contest issues raised in your DUI case.

It is important to note that if there are aggravating factors present in your DUI case, the State may elect to elevate your DUI to a felony case. Examples of aggravating factors include accidents with personal injury, multiple convictions for DUI, not having a valid driver’s license, or not having insurance.

What choices do you have?

  • You are NOT required to perform field sobriety tests!
  • You are generally NOT required to submit to a breath test!
  • You are NOT required to answer questions by the police!

A drunk driving conviction carries with it serious and long-lasting consequences: jail or prison time, a heavy fine, and suspension or revocation of a driver’s license. A person who is facing a drunk driving charge should not hesitate to seek immediate legal counsel from William Margolin, an experienced drunk driving defense attorney.

Anatomy of a DUI Arrest

  • A traffic stop is initiated by an officer (due to probable cause, suspicion, erratic operation, or at a roadside safety check).
  • The driver is observed by the officer and asked to produce a driver’s license, vehicle registration and an insurance card.
  • If the officer suspects the driver is under the influence, the driver is asked to submit to field sobriety tests.
  • If there is probable cause based on the field sobriety tests, the officer will arrest the driver for DUI. The offender is then transported to the police station for chemical testing of the breath, urine or blood.
  • After chemical testing if the driver is determined not to be under the influence, the driver is released with any applicable citations.
  • If the driver’s chemical testing reveals a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than .05 but less than .08 percent, then no Statutory Summary Suspension will apply. The DUI charge will remain until action is taken by the court.
  • Statutory Summary Suspension will apply if the driver refuses or fails to complete testing.
  • If the driver’s BAC is shown to be .08 percent or more, or a trace of an illegal substance/drug or intoxicating compound is found, the driver will be notified of a Statutory Summary Suspension.
  • A driver with a valid driver’s license will be issued a receipt to allow driving for 45 days.
  • The arrested offender will have to post bond and may be held until bond is posted.
  • The arrested offender’s vehicle may be impounded, towed or seized.

There are six basic ways to receive a DUI in Illinois. The applicable statute (625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)) reads as follows:

A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle within this State while:

  1.  the alcohol concentration in the person’s blood or breath is 0.08 or more based on the definition of blood and breath units in Section 11-501.2;
  2.  under the influence of alcohol;
  3.  under the influence of any intoxicating compound or combination of intoxicating compounds to a degree that renders the person incapable of driving safely;
  4.  under the influence of any other drug or combination of drugs to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving;
  5.  under the combined influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, or intoxicating compound or compounds to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving; or
  6.  there is any amount of a drug, substance, or compound in the person’s breath, blood, or urine resulting from the unlawful use or consumption of cannabis listed in the Cannabis Control Act, a controlled substance listed in the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, an intoxicating compound listed in the Use of Intoxicating Compounds Act, or methamphetamine as listed in the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act.

Should I blow?

As a general rule, you should refuse an officer’s request for you to submit to chemical testing. You should also politely decline to participate in field-sobriety testing (one-leg-stand test, walk-and-turn test, etc.). If you refuse chemical and field-sobriety testing, you greatly increase your odds of winning your DUI case.

At the Law Offices of William Margolin, we take pride in having helped thousands of clients just like you.

Please contact our offices today and let us put our knowledge and experience to work for you.

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(847) 623-2424

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