Important DUI Advice
BE PREPARED...Anyone can be pulled over for suspicion of a DUI...
First let me tell you that I began prosecuting D.U.I.'s in downtown Cook County as an Assistant State's Attorney in 1983. I spent one year prosecuting D.U.I.'s every day, all day. I also spent one year defending D.U.I.'s in DuPage County every day, all day. Since then I have defended hundreds of D.U.I.'s as a private attorney, both misdemeanor and felony D.U.I.'s. I know what I am talking about. I am certified for D.U.I. detection and standardized field sobriety testing. At least 50% of my practice entails defending D.U.I.'s., both bench and jury cases.
Now, let's talk about what you should do if you're stopped for a D.U.I.
A police officer can stop you for any traffic violation. He can ask you to step out of the vehicle, and he can tell you to stay in the vehicle. Usually, if he smells alcohol or marijuana coming from the vehicle, he will ask you if you have been drinking or smoking marijuana. At this point you should respond that you are not answering any questions and you are not taking any tests. You will be asked to step out of the vehicle to perform standardized field sobriety tests. DO NOT take these tests, although you must exit your vehicle. There is no penalty for refusing to take the standardized field sobriety tests, which consist of the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk and turn test and the one leg stand test. Whatever you do...DO NOT take any standardized field sobriety tests! The officer will try to convince you to take these tests. DO NOT take these tests. There are also drug tests the officer will ask you to take. These consist of the lack of convergence test, the modified Romberg balance test and the pupil rebound dilation test. DO NOT take these tests. The officer may also ask you to take a preliminary breath test on the scene. He will tell you that it does not affect your case. That is not true. DO NOT take any tests, including a preliminary breath test on the scene. Let the officer arrest you. You will be bonded out that night or the next morning, no matter what the officer tells you.
If and when you are arrested on the scene, you will then be taken to the police station to take a breath test, blood test or a urine test. Do not take these tests. The reason I advise this is that without you taking any field sobriety tests or any chemical tests, there is very little evidence for the prosecution to prove you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The case against you will be very weak and most likely you will prevail in court. You should know that you are not allowed to speak to an attorney before you are asked to take a chemical test at the police station (or at a hospital). Yet, you will eventually be given Miranda warnings and asked questions. Do not answer any questions. Your answers can be used against you at trial.
Because you did not take the chemical tests at the police station, your license will be suspended for one year. However, you can obtain a B.A.I.D. device which will allow you to drive during the suspension. So there is no real penalty for refusing to take the chemical tests at the station.
If you follow my instructions, you will have an excellent chance of having your suspension rescinded and being found not guilty of a D.U.I.
The question now is what if you did take the field sobriety tests and the breath, urine or blood test(s). That's also where I come in. I will actively try to discredit each and every test you took. I will show that the tests were not performed correctly or were not reported correctly. I will prove the chemical testing devises have not been calibrated correctly and not according to statute. I will do everything in my power to discredit the evidence so that the trier of fact must find you not guilty.
People often ask me various other questions about D.U.I. law, which is extensive. You should know that if you are convicted of a D.U.I., your driver's license will be revoked. However, if you are a first time offender, you may receive supervision, which will not revoke your driver's license. While you are on supervision, you will have to take alcohol/drug classes, attend a one night victim impact panel and pay fines and court costs, but your license will not be revoked. You can only receive supervision one time in your lifetime.
A D.U.I. supervision or revocation is not expungeable. It will stay on your record for life. You can thank the legislature for that.
Theodore Gailan, DuPage & Cook County Criminal Law Attorney
630.467.0400 • email Ted