Being the Fourth of July weekend, there is no doubt that many of you will participate in festivities this weekend. But while you should be careful on the roads every day, you need to be especially careful this weekend. There usually is an increase in DUI-related accidents on holidays and during three-day weekends. In fact, over the past five years, more people have died in motor vehicle crashes on Independence Day than any other day of the year. This means there will be more police patrolling the roads than usual, and you might even come across a DUI checkpoint. The DUI checkpoints are supposedly randomly placed, but you will often see such checkpoints on frequently-traveled roads. And no, the US Supreme Court in Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz found that DUI checkpoints are not per se unconstitutional as long as the State's interest in keeping the roads safe by removing intoxicated drivers is greater than the intrusion caused by a brief stop.
If you run into a DUI checkpoint, your experience will be somewhat like this. You are driving down a road when you see on the side of a road an officer that is signaling to you to pull over to the shoulder of the road. The officer will ask you to roll down your window and will ask for your license, your registration, and proof of insurance of the vehicle. The officer will then ask you a variety of questions such as whether you have been drinking, and if you had, how much you drank and when did you have your last drink. If the police suspect that you are intoxicated, the officer will likely ask you to conduct a field sobriety test and to blow in a portable breathalyzer. If you are deemed to be intoxicated, you will be charged with Driving Under the Influence, but if you are deemed to not be intoxicated, the officer will let you be on your way.
While there are websites that keep track of DUI checkpoint locations all throughout Illinois, your best bet is to avoid driving if you've had too much to drink. If you are spending your Independence Day away from home and you know you will be drinking, ask if you can stay the night at the host's house or consider renting a hotel room for the night. If you choose to be on the road, remember that you aren't the only driver on the road—even if you are sober, that does not mean other drivers are.
If you are charged with a DUI and you want to be represented by attorneys with years of experience handling such cases, contact John W. Callahan, Ltd. for representation by one of our skilled attorneys.
–Posted by John W. Callahan, DUI attorney
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