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Will County DUI defense attorneyIt is impossible to understate the role of commercial and delivery drivers in the age of Amazon, especially during a time when online shopping has been encouraged to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Truckers who possess a CDL, or Commercial Driver’s License, are the backbone of a digital economy, but with the introduction of services such as Uber and Lyft, how has the CDL changed? And, perhaps even more importantly, how does a driving under influence (DUI) charge affect those who drive to make a living or to otherwise supplement their income?

Rideshare Drivers

Although you might think Uber or Lyft drivers would be required to obtain a CDL by the nature of their work—conducting business by driving to earn money—that is not the case. In Illinois, there are no state-wide requirements for these kinds of drivers. However, local municipal governments (town or city) may have requirements, licenses, or fees. While rideshare drivers may not require additional licensure depending on the county, both CDL and rideshare drivers can incur additional penalties if they are cited for DUI.

When Does a DUI Apply?

Working as a rideshare driver and driving with a CDL are not equal, and differ in more than required licensure, but they do have something in common: increased penalties. Whereas a DUI in Illinois for a first-time offender is a Class A misdemeanor, according to the Illinois 2020 DUI Fact Book, a DUI committed while driving a vehicle for-hire carrying one or more passengers may result in a Class 4 felony charge.

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Joliet criminal defense attorneysAlthough recreational marijuana was legalized in Illinois as of January 1, 2020, there are still many other drugs that citizens cannot possess or distribute in the state. Under Illinois law, it is unlawful to manufacture, own, sell, or traffic controlled substances such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines. Drug trafficking is a serious crime in which a person knowingly brings a controlled substance for the purpose of delivery or with the intent to deliver it elsewhere. 

Offenders are subject to serious criminal consequences, including prison and steep fines. These penalties are often doubled compared to drug possession charges. However, to be convicted of drug trafficking, the prosecution must prove the defendant knew he or she was bringing the controlled substance across state lines in addition to the ultimate goal of its delivery within or outside of the state. 

Punishments for Selling Drugs

Per the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, drug trafficking can carry a range of felony charges, from a Class 3 to a Class X. A convicted drug trafficker could be sentenced to serve a maximum sentence of 30 to 120 years in prison, or twice the maximum term applicable for a possession conviction. People found guilty of trafficking may be required to pay a fine of $75,000 up to $1 million, which is twice the amount of a maximum fine for a Class X controlled-substance possession-related felony.

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