DUI Defense Attorneys

Consider the Law Offices of Winer & Winer
In Defending Against a DUI

Waukegan DUI Defense AttorneyIllinois has some of the most stringent DUI laws in the country. Being arrested is not only traumatic and embarrassing, but can have serious long term consequences. A DUI offense carries not only criminal penalties, but also the loss of driving privileges. It can threaten your financial well-being as a result of fines, court costs, alcohol treatment, BAIID (breath alcohol ignition interlock device) costs and increased car insurance premiums.

Illinois DUI law can be fraught with danger for the inexperienced traffic attorney. Therefore, the choice of an experienced DUI Defense attorney is a very important one and we encourage you to review the Bio’s of our firm (David Winer and Evan Winer). Choosing the wrong attorney can have serious consequences because if your DUI is not properly handled you could pay the price for years to come.

As experienced criminal defense attorneys and members of the Traffic Committees of the Lake County Bar Association and Illinois Bar Association and active participants n the local legal community, we have the experience and knowledge to defend your DUI charge with over 80 years of combined legal experience defending against DUI’s and other traffic violations. You can be confident that you will get the best defense by the Law Offices of Winer & Winer.

Experienced, Proven and Respected DUI Lawyers
Timing is Critical. The Sooner You Get Help the Better.

Having an experienced defense attorney from the beginning stages of your case may have a significant impact on obtaining a better outcome. Motions for discovery, subpoenas, pre-trial motions, and requests for driving relief need to be prepared, filed and presented properly before the court. We can also challenge the Summary Suspension of your driving privileges by filing a Petition of Rescind the Statutory Summary Suspension.

A DUI can be charged in a variety of ways. They are set forth by statute and include:

  • Under the influence of alcohol
  • Breath or Blood alcohol test greater than 0.08%
  • Under the influence of any intoxicating compound or drug
  • Driving under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs,
  • Driving with any amount of an illegal drug in blood or urine

Defending Against a DUI

The law in Illinois governing DUI’s is complex and is typically comprised of two separate components: (1) A Summary Suspension of your license is determined whether blew over .08 or refused the test, and (2) The criminal charge for DUI which can result in jail, fines and the revocation of driving privileges and other consequences.

In reviewing a DUI case an experienced attorney will recognize the areas to challenge a DUI including whether:

  • There was legal grounds for the stop of your vehicle
  • Following the stop did the officer had sufficient probable cause to arrest
  • Field sobriety tests were administered properly
  • Were you made aware of your right to refuse breath or blood testing
  • The breath or blood testing was administered properly
  • The legal procedure was properly followed

At the Law Offices of Winer & Winer we will defend you every step of the way so the legal consequences of your arrest and the effect on your life are challenged or minimized. Their firm is highly respected and have navigated countless DUI cases and helped clients put these cases behind them as quickly and favorably as possible. Deciding whether you case proceeds to a trial or negotiation can sometimes be a daunting decision, but our firm communicates openly every step of the way and inform you of all available options. See the personal Bio’s for a full background of Winer & Winer’s experience (Evan Winer and David Winer).

The Statutory Summary Suspension

A DUI arrest has two separate components, the criminal DUI charge and the Summary Suspension. The Summary Suspension occurs automatically and starts 46 days after your arrest. For first offenders who refuse the breath or blood test it results in a 12 month suspension while a breath or blood test over .08% or for illegal drugs is a 6 month suspension. For second offenders, with a DUI arrest within five years, the suspension is extended to 36 months for a refusal and 12 months for a failed test.

You are entitled a hearing to contest the suspension, and there is a time limit to file the petition challenging the suspension. The first option to prevent a suspension is to file a Petition to Rescind to contest the suspension and win the hearing. It is important to hire a lawyer right away to have time on your side before your suspension starts. There may also be evidence your lawyer needs to obtain quickly, such as subpoenaing the squad, booking room & body cam videos, dispatch recordings, police officer qualifications, police reports, etc.

Unlike a criminal DUI trial where the prosecutor must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, you are presumed innocent, can have a jury trial a Summary Suspension hearing is considered “civil” in nature and the burden of proof is shifted to the Defendant and is statutorily limited only to the below areas, whether the Officer had:

  • Reasonable grounds to stop your vehicle
  • Reasonable grounds to believe you were under the influence
  • Read you the Warnings to Motorist explaining the consequences if you blow or refuse
  • Gave you Notice of the Suspension.
  • Submitted to a test that showed a BAC of .08 or higher or the presence of drugs
  • You actually refused to take a chemical test
  • Were driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle
  • Were driving on a public roadway

While this hearing places a burden upon the Defendant to prove those above factors, it is sometimes possible, as part of a negotiation, that the Law Offices of Winer & Winer can have the suspension voluntarily removed or rescinded by the prosecutor. It is with rigorous examination and defense can this suspension possibly be removed. Our office has what it takes in those circumstances.

A Driving Permit (MDDP) is Available for the Entire Suspension

If the suspension cannot be removed and if you’re a first offender, or had a prior DUI more than five years ago, with a valid license you are eligible for the MDDP Permit which requires a BAIID device in your car during the entire suspension and there are no restrictions and can be used 24/7. You can only drive a vehicle with a BAIID unless you are eligible for a work vehicle. Other people can drive the car, but have to use the BAIID device
You can still drive for the 46 days until your license is suspended even though the officer took your license. The officer should have given you a paper called “Notice of Statutory Summary Suspension.” On the back there is a “Receipt to Drive” for the first 46 days to be used instead of your driver’s license.

Alcohol Evaluation and Classification

Anyone arrested for a DUI must undergo a mandatory alcohol/drug evaluation. The evaluation determines the extent of your alcohol and/or drug use by reviewing your driving history, chemical test results, use history and interview with an evaluator. Many people are not prepared for these evaluations and do not realize that the evaluation can have a major effect on their case. Our office can help assist and educate about your rights during the evaluation process and ensure you are given every consideration afforded under the law. When the evaluation is completed, a “Classification” is assigned by the evaluator to complete classes at any DASA licensed facility. The assigned Classification dictates the amount of classes that must be completed and are as follows:

  1. Level I Minimal Risk: Complete ten hours of DUI Risk Education class. (Only for first offenders with breath/blood test of a .15 or below)
  2. Level II Moderate Risk: Complete ten hours of DUI Risk Education plus an extra 12 hours of class. After completion, if recommended, participate in a Continuing Care Plan. (Only for first offenders who refused to blow or had a breath test between a .15 – 20%)
  3. Level II Significant Risk: Complete of ten hours of DUI Risk Education plus an extra 20 hours of class and, participate in a recommended Continuing Care Plan. (For second offenders or a first offender with a .20 or higher breath/blood test)
  4. Level III High Risk: Completion of a minimum of 75 hours of treatment and ongoing participation in a support group or other activity specified in the Continuing Care Plan. (For third offenders or if a person is found to be an alcoholic or drug dependent)

Do not hesitate to protect your future.
Call us today to review your case at (847) 336-9111
Free consultation and after-hour appointments available

For your convenience, we have two offices to meet, Waukegan and Skokie (see the bottom of this page for our addresses).

The DUI Court Process

Usually on your first court date, your lawyer requests and receives a copy of the Discovery which typically includes the police reports, alcohol and drug influence report, Warning to Motorist, Sworn Report, arrest reports, copies of your tickets. Many squad cars have cameras and there may also be video in the police booking room where you were taken and asked to submit a breathalyzer test.

A defendant must appear at every court date unless the judge grants permission not to appear unless the Judge gives permission to leave the State while your DUI case is pending. The first court date is set by the police officer and is noted on the tickets and bond slip. The number of additional court dates is dependent on the complexity of your case after a thorough of the police reports, video, investigation, etc. Although every case is different, we try to limit the number of court appearances and never continue a case without good reason.

Potential Penalties for a First-Time DUI

Illinois DUI law has created harsh penalties for a first time offenders. While the judge has some discretion in sentencing options, the following penalties usually apply:

  • License suspension: A first time offender receives a 6-month suspension for a breath or blood test over a .08 and 12 month for a refusal of the breathalyzer
  • Fines: Maximum of $2,500 fine and mandated court costs.
  • Jail: There is usually no jail time for a typical first offense but the maximum penalty is one year in jail. A second offense and conviction can carry mandatory jail time
  • Community service: A mandatory 100 hours if the BAC is over .16 and they can also can be ordered in other circumstances. A conviction can carry a mandatory 240 hours of public service
  • Permit: First-time offenders are eligible for a MDDP permit which requires a BAIID device and permits unrestricted driving for the entire suspension The BAIID permit carries additional costs expenses payable to the Secretary of State

What Field Sobriety Tests are Administered

Most DUI cases involve administering three “Standardized Field Sobriety Tests” that are conducted on the road following your stop and prior to an arrest. All of them have weaknesses and shortcomings that only an experienced DUI litigator can exploit for an aggressive defense.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus – An eye test that looks for involuntary jerking of your eyes. Some people have naturally occurring nystagmus regardless if they consumed alcohol. Because there are many other reasons a person might have nystagmus, Illinois courts have held this test is only an indication whether a person consumed alcohol and not whether they are impaired of have a high BAC level.

Walk and Turn – The officer looks for whether you started the test before you were told to, were you able to stand heel-to-toe while he explained the test without breaking stance, if you took 9 steps up walking a straight line with your arms at your side, touched heel-to-toe on every step, did you pivot and turn correctly, and then took 9 steps back with your arms at your side without stepping off the line.

One Leg Stand – You can select which leg you want to hold 6 inches off the ground, looking at your toe with your arms at your side while counting one-one thousand-one, until the officer tells you to stop or when you reach 30 seconds. If you put your foot down, sway, used your arms for balance or hopped they will counted against you.

Portable Breathalyzer – Often a hand held PBT breath test is offered. They are deemed to not to be reliable for use in a trial, but are allowed at a pre-trial hearing to determine if the officer had probable cause to arrest you for DUI. They must be properly calibrated to be introduced into evidence
Non standardized field tests: They can include the finger to nose, head tilt and reciting the ABC’s

The breathalyzer taken at the station is admissible at trial. If you have a breath test .08 or higher, you will be charged with a second type of DUI because you have already been arrested for being under the influence of alcohol due to your performance on the Field Sobriety tests. For a breath test to be admitted at trial there are several areas needed to verify its accuracy such as the officer certification, was the machine properly calibrated, and did it pass the calibration testing. Breathalyzer machines are now usually self calibrating and test themselves for accuracy.

A blood test which is usually taken at the hospital and the hospital can draw your blood either in the course of medical; treatment or the officer can ask you to submit to a blood test (which you can refuse) and then a nurse or phlebotomist will draw your blood. It will be either sent to the hospital or a crime lab to be tested. The crime lab is very busy, and the results can sometimes take a lot of time to be released. Important issues in a DUI blood case include the method how the blood was drawn, how the tubes were handled and information about the gas chromatograph machine that tested the blood. These issued must be explored and taken into consideration by an experienced DUI defense attorney

What is Court Supervision on a DUI for a First Offender?

Court Supervision for a DUI is a Court Order that will always remain on your “Court Purposes” driving record, is not expungable and can prohibit you from entering Canada. The Court Order will mandate payment of fines/court costs, an alcohol evaluation and classes, a Victim Impact Panel and possibly public service. The benefit of Supervision is that it isn’t a technical conviction if you timely complete the conditions of the Court Order and it does not result in your license being revoked which happens if you are convicted of DUI. A person is only allowed Court Supervision one time for DUI in their entire life.

What documents should the Police Officer Have Given Me?

When you are released following your arrest you should have been give several documents by the police officer which should include:

  • Tickets of all your charges
  • Bond Slip: Shows the cash bond posted or released on your recognizance and court date and room.
  • Warning to Motorist: The officer should have read this before being asked to take a breath test.
  • Notice of Statutory Summary Suspension: Notes whether you took a test and the result, basic reasons you were arrested. If the Officer gave you a blood or urine test it will be sent by mail. On the back is the receipt to drive if you had a valid license when arrested. Your driver’s license will be taken for bond.
  • Tow Receipt and other papers about the impoundment of your vehicle

Felony DUI Charges

A felony charge has a totally different set of consequences and has mandatory sentences attached. They are extremely serious and are handled much differently than misdemeanors. Getting the right representation, quickly is paramount. Ordinarily a first offense DUI is a misdemeanor and are several factors that can make it a felony DUI:

  • Personal Injury or death resulting from a DUI accident
  • Two prior DUI convictions and are charged with a third
  • No insurance on the car you were driving, even if it is not yours
  • License is suspended or revoked at the time of arrest
  • Never possessed or have a valid driver’s license
  • Being arrested in a school zone

A third DUI is a class 2 felony, while a fourth DUI is a non-probationable requiring a mandatory prison sentence. In addition, heavy fines, alcohol treatment, community service, revocation of license, probation are also possible. Felony DUI cases are prosecuted by more experienced State’s Attorney who frequently push for jail time.

Your Rights at a Traffic Stop

If you are stopped for suspicion of a DUI, there are several rights that you should be aware of. Statements made at anytime can be used against you in court, field sobriety tests, breath and blood tests are voluntary and you can refuse them and not make any statement about the traffic stop, drinking, or anything related to the cause of the arrest. If you perform poorly on the field sobriety tests, fail the breathalyzer or give incriminating statements you are helping the prosecution build a case against you. Whether a person should take any tests is entirely dependent on each individual circumstance. For example, if a person had only one or two beers a long ago, then their breathalyzer test will likely be under the .08 limit. In that case, it would be advisable to take the breath test. However, throughout the entire process, always try to remain calm, polite and respectful to the officer because the improper behavior or attitude can make only things much worse.

A CDL Driver With a DUI

Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL) arrested for DUI are treated very differently even if they were driving their personal vehicle and not a work. They face much more severe penalties, including mandatory the Disqualification of their CDL privileges.

The Law Offices of Winer & Wine has extensive experience dealing with CDL drivers, whose livelihood is in jeopardy If you have a CDL and are charged with a DUI, contact our office immediately because many attorneys are unfamiliar with this more complex area of DUI law.

There are two main differences a CDL driver should be aware of (1) An alcohol content of .04 while driving a commercial vehicle will lead to a suspension and (2) Even if driving a personal vehicle and not a work, and received Court Supervision or a Summary Suspension they will be disqualified and lose their CDL privileges for a minimum of one year. However, they can apply for a MDDP Permit for use in a non CDL or commercial vehicle. Basically, they can drive a regular vehicle during the disqualification period.

If you received DUI while possessing a CDL, call the Law Offices of Winer & Winer and we will vigorously fight to minimize the effects on your CDL license.

CERTIFIED COMPANIES

ALC – Alco-Test Inc. 800-622-2526
NAT – National Interlock Systems 800-508-4794
SMA – Smart Start 800-880-3394
CST – Consumer Safety Technology 877-777-5020
GUA – Guardian Interlock 800-499-0994
AAA – AAA Interlock 888-786-7384

CERTIFIED BAIID INSTALLERS

Location Address Company Code
Antioch 474 – E. State Route 173 CST
Fox Lake 89 S. Route 12 ALC
Fox Lake 17 E. Grand Ave. BSL
Gurnee 6170 W. Grand Ave. NAT/CST
Kildeer 20505 N. Rand Rd. NAT
Lake Zurich 1320 Ensell Rd. SMA
Libertyville 1098 E. Park Ave. NAT/ALC
Mundelein 321 Townline Road GUA
Mundelein 20951 W. Hwy 60 CST
Mundelein 825 E. Hwy 45 CST
Mundelein 1045 Campus Drive CST
Vernon Hills 551 N. Milwaukee Ave. NAT
Vernon Hills 701 N. Milwaukee Ave. CST
Waukegan 1212 Golf Road GUA
Waukegan 80 S. Greenbay Road AAA
Waukegan 1 N. Greenbay Road AAA
Waukegan 1925 Grand Ave. SMA
Wheeling 851 E. Palatine Road GUA

Additional Resources

For Illinois Secretary of State MDDP & BAIID publication and forms, TAP HERE

For Illinois Secretary of State DUI publications and forms, TAP HERE

Below are some of the traffic offenses we defend:

* Driving Under the Influence (DUI) * Secretary of State Hearings
* Suspended or Revoked License * Zero Tolerance
* Driver’s License Reinstatement * Minor Consumption of Alcohol
* Boating Under the Influence * Open Alcohol in Vehicle
* Reckless Driving * Speeding in Construction or School Zone
* Auto Accidents * Passing a School Bus
* Reckless Homicide * CDL Violations
* Overweight Trucks * All Traffic Violations

Get Back on the Road!
Contact The Law Offices of Winer & Winer
(847) 336-9111