Our Client, Danny, was stopped by the Oak Lawn Police Department for improper lane usage. The officer testified at trial that Danny swerved over the lane marker. The officer further testified that he smelled a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Danny’s breath and that Danny had glassy/bloodshot eyes. The officer testified that after Danny exited his vehicle, he stumbled backwards into his car. The officer further testified that in his opinion, Danny was under the influence of alcohol.
At trial, we argued that the State could not meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Danny was driving under the influence of alcohol. The judge agreed and Danny was found not guilty of DUI.
Many people do not realize that when they are arrested for a DUI, there are almost always 2 cases they must deal with: (1) the Summary Statutory Suspension and (2) the DUI.
The Summary Suspension is actually civil in nature, unlike the DUI which is a criminal case. Accordingly, the burden of proof is different.
Basic Rules for Summary Suspension
Unless your Suspension is rescinded, your license is generally suspended for 12 months if you refuse to take the breathalyzer and 6 months if you take the breathalyzer. However, if you are determined not to be a first offender, the suspension is longer.
How the DUI case can affect your license:
If you are convicted of a DUI, the Secretary of State will revoke your license. A revocation is drastically different than a suspension. After a suspension is over, you merely pay a reinstatement fee in order to reacquire your license. However, if your license is revoked, you cannot merely pay a reinstatement fee. Instead, you must undergo a hearing with the Secretary of State to attempt to get your license back. In short, if your license is revoked, you are generally without a license for a much longer period of time.
If you are interested in more detailed information, contact us or feel free to read our DUI guide. We have an entire section about the difference between Statutory Summary Suspensions and the DUI charge.
If you or someone you know is charged with a DUI, be sure to talk to an experienced DUI attorney. The lawyers at Pechter & Pechter LLP exclusively practice Criminal, DUI, and Traffic Defense as well as Secretary of State Hearings. Call our Palos Hill’s Office at 708-599-4300 for a Free Consultation. We are located just four blocks west of the Bridgeview Courthouse.