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Is It Possible to Fight a DUI Charge in Illinois?

 Posted on November 07,2023 in DUI

DuPage County DUI Defense Lawyer

Under Illinois law, driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense that can have significant legal consequences. Many people charged with DUI assume that the arrest will now automatically mean a guilty finding; however, there are a number of legal defenses that may be available to cause reasonable doubt in a jury’s mind, and that can ultimately lead to a not guilty verdict. The following are three of the most common DUI defenses an Illinois criminal defense lawyer may use.

Lack of Probable Cause

One of the most common defenses to a DUI charge is challenging the arresting officer's probable cause for the traffic stop and subsequent arrest. Law enforcement officers must have a valid reason to pull over a vehicle, such as observing a traffic violation or having reasonable suspicion that the driver is impaired. If the initial traffic stop was made without proper cause, any evidence obtained following that stop may be ruled inadmissible by the court. This can include the results of field sobriety tests, breathalyzer or blood tests, and the officer's observations of the defendant's behavior.

To establish lack of probable cause, an attorney may obtain dashcam footage, witness statements, and the officer's report to identify any inconsistencies or errors in the officer's account of events. If it can be demonstrated that the stop and arrest were conducted without a valid basis, it may lead to the dismissal of the DUI charges.

Breathalyzer Accuracy

Breathalyzer tests are commonly used to measure a driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC). However, these devices are not infallible – they can and do produce inaccurate results under certain conditions. Challenging the accuracy of breathalyzer test results is another common defense used by DUI defense lawyers.

Some of the more common issues that can lead to inaccurate readings include:

  • Calibration errors

  • Improper administration of the test

  • A medical condition that can cause elevated BAC readings, such as acid reflux or diabetes.

Maintenance and calibration records for the breathalyzer machine in question can be used as evidence, as well as the qualifications and training (or lack thereof) of the officer administering the test.

Rising BAC Defense

Another defense strategy involves arguing that the defendant's BAC was below the legal limit at the time of driving but had risen above the limit by the time they were tested. Alcohol takes time to absorb into the bloodstream, and during that period, a person's BAC may continue to rise even after they have stopped drinking. This is referred to as retrograde extrapolation or, in simpler terms, a rising BAC.

To establish a rising BAC defense, a defense lawyer may present evidence that the defendant did consume alcohol shortly before they got behind the wheel of their vehicle, but that their BAC was below the legal limit of 0.08 percent while they were driving. The rising BAC defense can be particularly effective if there was a significant period between the traffic stop and the administration of the breathalyzer or blood test.

Contact a Will County, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer for Legal Help

If you have been charged with DUI, it is important to consult with an experienced Naperville, IL DUI defense attorney who can assess the specific circumstances of your case and determine the best strategy to pursue. Call Law Office of Patricia Magaña, LLC at 630-448-2001 to schedule a free consultation and find out what potential defenses you may have in your case.

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Law Office of Patricia Magaña, LLC

1555 Bond Street, Suite 103A, Naperville, IL 60563

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