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Holiday DUIs and Roadblocks in Illinois

Rolling Meadows DUI Attorney

Illinois law enforcement has made a demonstrated effort to reduce traffic accidents in 2015. Over the past Thanksgiving holiday, for example, roadblocks and checkpoints led to numerous traffic tickets and drunk driving charges being filed against drivers. With more holidays quickly approaching, the Illinois State Police issued a list indicating the four biggest things to watch out for on the roads: distracted driving, drinking and driving, speeding, and failing to wear a seatbelt. Following simple safety procedures can greatly limit your chances of being involved in a life-changing vehicle accident or being arrested or cited for a driving-related offense.

The Illinois State Police "Fatal Four"

Drinking and Driving

Drinking and driving is arguably the greatest concern of local police during the holiday season. During this time of year, people are taking time off of work, going on vacations, and reuniting with old friends and family. Often, these social gatherings involve alcohol and can go late into the night when judgment is already potentially clouded. Arranging a ride in advance if you plan on drinking is one easy way to avoid alcohol-related accidents and criminal charges. Other tips include appointing a designated driver, using a ride-sharing service, or enjoying yourself somewhere close to home so you can walk.

In addition to the possibility of causing an accident, drunk driving can lead to arrest and criminal charges. Illinois is known to have some of the most severe DUI punishments in the country; a first time offender faces a mandatory suspension of their driver's license, in addition to facing a Class A Misdemeanor, the most severe classification and the one that carries the possibility of court supervision, fines, and/or jail time. Second and third time offenders may almost certainly face jail time and will also have driving privileges limited if not revoked entirely.

Most of us know someone that has consumed alcohol and driven; regardless of whether they were caught, the possible repercussions are severe. In Illinois, local law enforcement agencies often team up and place roadblocks on entryways of public roads, stopping vehicles to ensure the driver's sobriety. The officers may ask basic questions and check the driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance. The officers may also check for other infractions such as drug possession, seat belt usage, or speeding. These roadblocks have proven extremely effective at catching an array of offenders from petty offenses such as driving with a taillight out or failure to carry insurance all the way through felony drinking and driving charges. Part of the roadblock's purpose is to serve as a deterrent, to help prevent people from drinking and driving in the first place knowing that facing these roadblocks is a possibility.


In addition to the increase in adverse weather conditions in the late fall and winter months, mere speeding also contributes significantly to the overall amount of accidents during the holiday season. This is particularly true in special speed zones, such as construction zones, where the possibility of punishment is severe if you kill or injure a worker. The fines are steep in these specific zones and may also lead to aggravated speeding charges when the driver was found to be driving over 26 miles per hour. These are not simple speeding tickets; these are serious charges that can destroy your driving record and your ability to hold a license in the future. These infractions require effective representation that can assist you with your traffic ticket offense.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving certainly falls under each of these categories—it is even more detrimental to be drinking and driving or speeding while also being distracted by a cell phone call, text, radio, or passenger. There is no shortage of information available about the dangers of distracted driving, and with the advents of new technology, it is only continuing to be a greater concern on our roads.

Distracted driving is completely avoidable and can be remedied by turning your phone on "do not disturb" or "airplane" mode to avoid the temptation of responding to text messages, e-mails, or calls while operating the vehicle. Interestingly, many studies have shown that talking on the phone (yes, even on a hands free device) can be as dangerous as texting. In either case, your attention is diverted away from the road and focused on your conversation.

Rolling Meadows, Illinois Criminal and Traffic Defense Attorneys

Regardless of whether you are facing a traffic infraction with a nominal fine or a felony drunk driving charge, our firm understands your concerns and can help you craft the best defense for your unique set of circumstances. While the holidays are particularly troubling for many drivers, driving offenses happen all throughout the year. If you or anyone you know is in need of a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Donald J. Cosley at 847-253-3100 for a free consultation today.

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