3601 McDonough Street, Joliet, IL 60431

Call Us815-727-0100

McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC

Are There More DUI Arrests in Illinois Over Thanksgiving Weekend?

 Posted on November 30, 2020 in DUI

Joliet DUI defense attorneyAlthough this Thanksgiving may look a bit different as a result of the restrictions put in place to fight COVID-19, many people will still be celebrating the holiday. Small gatherings may still include alcoholic beverages, which can unfortunately lead to intoxicated driving. That is why local law enforcement agencies step up their patrols in anticipation of partygoers possibly getting behind the wheel after a few too many. Traffic-related fatalities usually increase during the long holiday weekends. The National Safety Council (NSC) has estimated that approximately 500 people will lose their lives between Wednesday and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. Police will be on the lookout for impaired drivers, and they can arrest those who are suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. 

Illinois Drunk Driving Laws

According to Illinois law, a driver may be charged with DUI if he or she is found to be operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over .08 percent. If the police suspect a driver is driving drunk, they will pull the motorist over and ask him or her to take a breathalyzer test. In some scenarios, they may also ask the driver to perform field sobriety tests. These can include the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, the Walk and Turn Test, and the One-Leg Stand Test. If the driver fails any of these, law enforcement can arrest him or her. Although Illinois drivers are allowed to refuse these tests, doing so may give an officer probable cause to make an arrest.

It is important to note that Illinois drivers can also face DUI charges if he or she uses other controlled substances, such as marijuana or prescription drugs, before getting behind the wheel. The legal limit for THC is 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood or 10 nanograms per milliliter of other bodily fluids, like urine or saliva. Even the use of prescription or over-the-counter medicines combined with alcohol can lead to a DUI arrest if the driver cannot operate his or her vehicle safely.

Illinois Penalties for DUI

The criminal punishments for a first-time drunk driving offense is stiff in Illinois. If convicted, an individual faces up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. For a second conviction within five years of the first offense, the driver must serve a minimum of five days in prison or 240 hours of community service. Third or fourth violations within a five-year period are considered aggravated DUIs and a Class 2 felony, punishable by 3-7 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. A fifth violation is a Class 1 felony, which carries 4-15 years in jail and up to $25,000 in fines. A sixth violation is a Class X felony, punishable by 6-30 years incarceration and up to $25,000 in fines. In all of these cases, the penalties are increased for a BAC of .16 percent or higher.

Contact a Joliet Criminal Defense Attorney

Drinking and driving can result in severe consequences, including jail time and the loss of your driver’s license. If you or someone you know is facing such charges, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. At McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC, we understand how a DUI arrest or conviction can turn your life upside down, and we are prepared to help. Our tenacious Will County DUI defense lawyers will build a solid defense on your behalf and protect your driving privileges. Call our office today at 815-727-0100 to schedule your free consultation. 



Share this post:
Will County Bar Association Illinois State Bar Association Lions Minooka AV 2019 Rotary DuPage County Bar Association Workers Compensation Lawyers Association
Back to Top