We like to take the time to speak more directly about certain topics that are important to our clients and the surrounding community. Members of our firm will choose different topics to comment on each month.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Update
Driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the most common cases filed in County Courts. This charge is a hot-button issue around the State. As a result DUI laws change frequently. Having an experienced attorney to help you through the many different options can be crucial in dealing with a DUI charge.
DUI penalties can be issued by both the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) (in the form of an Administrative License Revocation proceeding), or as court imposed sentences (or both). Court imposed sentences can include fines, jail, house arrest, probation (including required attendance at AA classes, MADD driver impact panel groups, and community service.) Court imposed sentences can also require the offender to participate in a substance abuse evaluation, revocation or impoundment of driving privileges, and/or installation of ignition interlock devices. The penalties can be enhanced for an individual with a previous DUI conviction within the last fifteen (15) years and/or based upon the blood alcohol content over.15.
Once a ticket for DUI has been issued, time becomes critical under the DMV Administrative License Revocation procedures. In almost all instances, the arresting officer confiscates the alleged offender’s driver’s license and then issues the driver a temporary permit. Under the Administrative License Revocation an individual’s license will be suspended for 180 days for the first offense, one year for the second offense or one year if the individual refused to submit to chemical testing. This suspension begins fifteen (15) days after the arrest. Each driver is entitled to an appeal of this suspension; however the appeal must be filed within ten days of the arrest. For an Administrative License Revocation first failure of alcohol test drivers are immediately able to apply to the DMV with no required no-drive period during the 180 day revocation, if the driver does not request a hearing. The driver gets credit for revocation days and interlock days served against any DUI sentence. If the driver requests a hearing they are not eligible for the ignition interlock permit under the Administrative License Revocation suspension.
It is imperative that you contact an attorney immediately to ensure your options are examined and a decision can be made as to whether you should request an Administrative License Revocation hearing and to help you through the court process.
Once a DUI case is filed in Court the major issues include:
1. Whether or not the officer had probable cause to conduct a traffic stop;
2. Did the officer follow proper procedures, including conducting field sobriety testing accurately to obtain the required probable cause to conduct a preliminary breath test;
3. Was all testing equipment properly maintained to ensure accurate testing results;
4. What are the most appropriate and least intrusive penalties imposed?
The Attorneys at DeMars, Gordon, Olson, Zalewski and Wynner are dedicated to careful and candid evaluation of each and every case as well as working with our clients to obtain the best possible results.