» Criminal Defense

Why have I been charged with two counts of DUI if I only drove once?

This is a common question. It is directly related to the presumptive legal limit of .08 blood alcohol concentration. Section 625 ILCS 5/11-50(a)(1) of the Illinois traffic code states that any person with an alcohol concentration in their blood or breath above 0.08 is guilty of Driving Under the Influence. Section 625 ILCS 5/11-50(a)(2) simply states that if a person is "under the influence of alcohol" he or she is guilty of Driving Under the Influence. If you are charged under both these sections, we can assume you took the "breathalyzer." The State, however, can try to prove you guilty two ways: (1) that your blood or breath alcohol concentration was at or over .08 — in which case there is a presumption that you are under the influence; or (2) that you were under the influence. For the second proposition the State must offer other evidence to show you were under the influence — such as bad driving, poor field sobriety test, or erratic behavior. The second section is obviously harder for the State to prove, which is why in many cases it is better not to have taken a blood or breath test.

Should I talk to the Police?

First, every case and situation is unique and there is no one right answer — but, almost always the answer is NO. Reality is, you are not going to talk yourself out of being charged or arrested. If the police are going to arrest you, there is nothing you can do to change their mind — they simply won't believe you. The police, however, will tell you differently. The cops will tell you that if you cooperate they will go easier on you — they are LYING! They are trained to make you feel comfortable. To gain your trust. They are even allowed to lie. Just remember to say the magic words, "I want a lawyer." Be polite, courteous. Tell them that you want to cooperate but you were told that you should have a lawyer when you talk to the police. They won't like it — but that's a good sign!