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What Are Some Common Misconceptions About DUI?


A lot of people do not understand that they can get an operating while intoxicated or DUI charge with any amount of alcohol in their system. Someone could have had just one beer but if the officer’s opinion is that it affected their ability to do things normally , then it would be considered to have impaired their ability and the person would get written up. DUI and OWI laws state that if the person was at 0.08 or above, then they would be presumed intoxicated, so if it was a 0.079 to 0.05, then there would be no presumption either way. Someone could still be written up for a DUI if they blew 0.05 and for that matter, they could blow a 0.04 and still technically be written up because the other type of DUI would be if there was any amount of alcohol in the person’s system that would have caused them to be impaired. Three or four beers might cause someone like a 400 pound lineman to be a 0.06 or something like, that although it would not affect him the same way as it would affect a 70 pound gymnast.

Would Someone Be Arrested No Matter What They Blew?

The person would be arrested because a lot of judges run law and order campaigns and the last thing they would want to see is a headline saying that someone who was charged with a DUI was freed by a lenient judge, or that person got in an accident later, because then people would wonder why the judge ever let that person go. He would be under tremendous scrutiny, so sometimes when people blow 0.07 they assume that it would be an automatic not guilty, whereas I have to tell them that there are judges who would still find them impaired.

Do People Think They Could Just Plead Guilty And Get It Over With?

Some people do this, and sometimes they could end up with the wrong judge so there would always be the possibility that they could get sent to jail the first time. Most of the time people would not get sent to jail unless they had caused an accident with injuries. This would vary based on which state the person is in, because things would be different in Wisconsin than in Illinois. In Wisconsin, a person’s first offense would be a civil matter instead of a criminal charge unless they caused an injury. It would be fineable, and they might make the person go to alcohol or drug school. They could give the person a revocation of their license, but they would not send the person to jail, although it would be another situation if they injured somebody. In Illinois, for a first offense the person could get up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine, and it would be called a Class A misdemeanor.

Why Do Most People Think They Were Arrested?

There is usually not a whole lot of dispute as to why someone got arrested, because they would have had an accident or were stuck on the side of the road. Another reason someone might get arrested is if the police caught them speeding. This is the most common reason people get arrested, because the lack of common sense people have when they are drinking is amazing. They would be going 20 miles an hour over the speed limit at 2 o’clock in the morning, whereas going 20 miles an hour or over on a lot of these busy freeways at 5 o’clock at night would not be a big deal, after midnight the only people out driving is often the person who was drinking and the police officer. Very few people are just driving home at 12 at night who have not been drinking.

I have handled cases where people were pulled over because their license plate light was out. I recently had a case thrown out of court where the officer arrested the person at almost two in the morning claiming that the person committed improper lane usage. There was a video of the person in which he was going under the speed limit, so he was going about 28 in a 35 zone. The officer said that was one of the reasons he pulled him over, so I asked him whether it was against the law; he replied that it was not against the law, but it drew his attention to the person. The officer said the person weaved within his lane although he never touched the line on either side but the officer still wrote him up for improper lane usage, which was the basis for giving him a DUI. He wound up actually taking a portable breathalyzer where he blew over 0.08, but I was able to convince the judge that there was no valid basis to pull him over, because if everyone were held to the standard not driving perfectly equidistant between the two lane lines then everyone on the road commits improper lane usage every single time they drive. The person was not swerving, and was only drifting a little bit side to side over a period of half a mile.

Is There A Common Excuse That People Usually Have?

The most common excuse given to the police is that the person only had two beers, which makes it seem like the person is trying to be smart about this. Someone who was smart would not drive after they had been drinking, and if they had been drinking then they should not talk to the police. The person can politely ask the officer if they can leave, but if the officer says they cannot leave, then the person should politely tell them that their attorney has told them not to say anything further, and that they have nothing to say.

For more information on Common Misconceptions About DUI, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (847) 244-4636 today.

Barry Boches, Esq.

Get your questions answered - call me for your free phone consultation (847) 244-4636.

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