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No evidence for DUI arrest

A client recently approached me and told me that he received a DUI and there was “no evidence” for his DUI so therefore the DUI should be dismissed.  I told him that after practicing DUI law for 22 years that it was unlikely that there was “no evidence.”

He told me that he had been arrested for DUI while in a parking lot, so because he was not driving on the road, he was not driving under the influence.  I had to tell him that according to 11-501 (DUI Law) that a person could be arrested for being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle anywhere in Illinois.  That means that if you are driving a golf cart on a golf course you could be arrested for DUI.

He then explained that they had “no evidence for DUI arrest.”  I obtained a copy of his police reports and they indicated that he had taken three field sobriety tests and had admitted to taking prescription medication.   He also took a breathalyzer and scored 0.0.   I felt funny explaining to him how field sobriety tests are evidence.  Personally, I think field sobriety tests are total BS, but they are evidence that the judge or jury can consider.  The 0.0 breathalyzer will just ensure that they will charge him with a drug DUI rather than an alcohol DUI.

Lastly, in the report the officer recorded that the client had made a statement to his girlfriend (who had called the police), “Thanks babe, another DUI.”  That statement would be heard by the judge or jury when considering whether to find him guilty of DUI.

I am not sure whether it is television or the incomprehensibility of the law, but people need to understand that the State is going to take whatever evidence they have and try to make a case.  Can the jury find you guilty on that amount of evidence?  Sure, it’s entirely up to them.  Could they find you not guilty?  Once again, sure, that’s their job.

But thinking that there is no evidence, therefore they have to dismiss the case is just silly.

Law Dude, Ray Flavin, represents drivers that have been charged with DUI in McHenry County Illinois. His law offices are located across the street from the McHenry County Courthouse in Woodstock.

Propaganda comes in many forms

 

Cannabis DUI Law an Illinois tradition

Illinois has a long tradition of screwing up Cannabis DUI Law.  They do.  Past laws include requiring an Alcohol monitoring device in DUI arrests resulting from cannabis use.  That’s right, if you received a DUI because you were under the influence of canabis and wanted to drive during your suspension, the Illinois legislature would require you to get a device that doesn’t measure cannabis in your system.  Makes perfect sense.

They also had a law that didn’t require you to be “under the influence” of anything to arrest and convict you for a cannabis DUI.  You simply had to have ANY amount of cannabis in your system, even the smallest measurable amount, and you could be found guilty.

So they changed the law this year (again).  And the new confoundingly stupid law, and I am not making this up, is this:

A person who is arrested for a cannabis DUI will be required to take field sobriety tests for alcohol, or their license will be suspended.  I wish that I was making this up, but alas, this is Illinois isn’t it.  And they have a fine tradition of making unintelligle law about cannabis and DUIs, because they can.

Other states, just so you know, actually test to see whether you have an amount of cannabis or its metabolites in your system to a leve that it might impact your ability to think and act with ordinary care.  What a concept, measuring the level of an intoxicant to see if you are impaired.  Perhaps sometime after the year 2019 we will catch up, but I would have to say that’s doubtful.

Law Dude, Ray Flavin, represents drivers that have been charged with DUI in McHenry County Illinois. His law offices are located across the street from the McHenry County Courthouse in Woodstock.

BAIID

Our system is based on the following presumptions:

There are Drunk Drivers out there

Drunk Drivers kill thousands of people on the highways

We have to get Drunk Drivers off of the roads.

The system of DUI Laws that we have here in Illinois is designed to revoke the license of drivers who are convicted of DUI.  The problem is, revoking a driver’s license doesn’t effectively remove drivers from the road.  In today’s society a person doesn’t live next to the grocery store, clothing store, social gathering spot, school, church etc.  One has to drive to these places.

If you revoke someone’s driving privileges, they still have to drive to these places.  And life experience suggests that they will drive whether they have a driver’s license or not.

Keep Reading →

Road side body cavity search

I was picking a jury the other day and one of the jurors was a technical writer for the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), the people who actually invented the Field Sobriety tests.  Well, maybe not invented, but they suggested that they can be standardized.  They are of course wrong.

The juror was kind of funny because he said he couldn’t be fair because his job was to take a policy position for NHTSA in their attempt to make the roads safer.  The judge immediately agreed to allow him to leave on the court’s motion (???) I wonder whether I would have kept him given the chance. Keep Reading →

Crystal Lake DUI

Why are DUI videos important during Bull Valley DUI arrests.  Recently, local police cars have been equipped with video equipment.  Principally, this equipment is to protect the officer from lawsuits, allow supervisors to critique traffic stops, and to provide evidence for trials, such as DUI trials.

These in car videos have also led to some local municipal police officers losing their jobs because of unprofessional conduct.  The Village of Bull Valley collects a $500 equipment fees specifically to install and maintain these devices in their cars.  As an attorney, when you are doing a jury trial, you always want to point out that a municipality is collecting $500 per DUI specifically so that they can make videos of their stops, that way if they don’t have the video you can suggest that there may be other reasons that they are collecting the money.  Therefore those videos should be collected and analyzed. Keep Reading →

Alcohol

Should I take the breathalyzer?  This is a question that I often hear when representing drivers charged with DUI in McHenry County, Illinois.  And the answer might shock you.  Let me take a moment to answer the question for you who are not sitting in my office charged with a DUI.

If you have had a DUI within five years if you take the breathalyzer and fail (score over 0.08 g/dl), you will be suspended for one year … and WILL NOT qualify to drive during your suspension.  If you refuse to take the breathalyzer and you have had a DUI within five years, you will be suspended for three years … and WILL not qualify to drive during your suspension with a BAIID device installed in your car.

If you have never had a DUI, and you want to have a good chance of winning your case, you should:

1.  Not take the breathalyzer

2.  Not do the field sobriety tests, and lastly

3.  For heaven’s sake don’t say anything like, “Man, I drank too much to drive.”  Or, “You caught me I am too buzzed to drive.”

4.  Avoid doing anything “memorable” during your DUI stop.  That would included offering bribes, doing silly entertaining things, soiling your underwear, or going to sleep in the squad car etc.

If you follow those simple steps, you can win your DUI case a high percentage of the time.  Proving DUI cases is difficult for the State.  The burden of proof is high and without chemical testing very challenging.

Remember the best way to “win” a DUI case is to plan to have someone else drive when you plan to drink, or plan to be in a situation where no one has to drive, that way no one will get a DUI.

 

Law Dude, Ray Flavin, represents drivers that have been charged with DUI in  McHenry County Illinois. His law offices are located across the street from the McHenry County Courthouse in Woodstock, IL.

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