The True Costs of a DUI Conviction During New Years

After a challenging year, an employee at a Chicago tech startup decides to let loose with some friends at a bar on New Year’s Eve. He knows that the coronavirus deaths have topped 15,000 in Illinois and expects another six months of coronavirus-related lockdowns. Like many 30-somethings who are gainfully employed, he knows how lucky he is to have a good job.

Many of his friends have been laid off due to COVID-19 shutdowns. He is aware of his tendency to overindulge in alcohol and decides to call an Uber if he is too intoxicated to drive home. His friends encourage him to do shots with them, but he feels totally fine after an hour or so. As he drives home, he encounters a DUI checkpoint. A police officer charges him with a DUI, arrests him, and takes him back to the police station.

DUI Patrols Increase Over the Holidays

Every year, local and state law enforcement agencies increase their patrols for DUI-related charges. Special Traffic Enforcement Patrols specialize in issuing drug and alcohol-related citations over holiday weekends. During Thanksgiving weekend, they issued 177 speeding citations and warnings. Law enforcement set up DUI checkpoints throughout the state of Illinois. At these checkpoints, law enforcement officers will look for any signs of intoxication, including slurred speech, the smell of alcohol, or an inability to answer their questions. Many Illinois residents will be arrested on New Years’ weekend for DUI and DWI charges.

The True Costs of a New Years’ DUI

Even during the coronavirus pandemic, police expect to see an increase in people drinking and driving. People who may not go to a bar may go to their friend or family’s houses. Most DUI lawyers indicate that they will see many more DUI cases during the holidays.

Facing a DUI during the holidays is never ideal, even for those charged with a first-time DUI. Even a first-time DUI conviction can result in up to $15,000 in legal fees and fines. If you get into an accident and become injured or injure someone else, that number can increase considerably. DUI arrests spike during the holidays, particularly over New Years’ day.

Illinois law includes fines and prison sentences in their statutes related to DUI charges. First-time DUI defendants face a Class A misdemeanor charge, which is punishable by up to a year in prison and up to a $2,500 fine. Defendants will also need to pay for attorney fees, breathalyzer costs, drug or alcohol treatment classes, and mandatory counseling services. The expenses related to DUIs add up quickly.

Contact an Illinois DUI Defense Lawyer Today

When you need a lawyer, experience matters. The criminal defense lawyers at Glasgow & Olsson are ready to provide you with an aggressive criminal defense. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.

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