Let Us Shoulder Your Burden CONTACT US TODAY
DUI law written on a note with pen

Common Misconceptions About DUIs

Mockaitis Law Group LLC June 11, 2024

Driving under the influence (DUI) is an area of law filled with myths and misunderstandings. These misconceptions can lead to poor decision-making and unnecessary stress for those facing DUI charges.  

As a seasoned defense attorney at Mockaitis Law Group, I aim to clarify these misconceptions and offer guidance to those in need. Let's debunk these common DUI misconceptions and reveal the truth:

Misconception 1: "I'm not over the legal limit, so I'm fine." 

Many people believe that you're only at risk if you're over the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit of 0.08%. The truth is, you can be arrested for DUI even if your BAC is below this threshold. 

 In Illinois, law enforcement can charge you with a DUI if your driving ability is impaired to any degree by alcohol or drugs, regardless of your BAC level. 

Remember, even small amounts of alcohol can impair your judgment and reaction times, leading to unsafe driving. If an officer believes your ability to drive is compromised, they can still make an arrest. 

Misconception 2: "I can refuse a breathalyzer test without consequences." 

Another widespread belief is that refusing a breathalyzer test will help you avoid a DUI charge. However, this can lead to severe consequences.  

Under Illinois' implied consent law, drivers automatically consent to chemical tests (breath, blood, or urine) to determine their BAC when they obtain a driver's license. 

Refusing a breathalyzer test can result in an automatic driver's license suspension. For a first refusal, your license can be suspended for one year. Subsequent refusals can lead to longer suspensions and other penalties. In my experience, refusing a breathalyzer often complicates your case instead of simplifying it. 

Misconception 3: "I can handle my DUI case on my own." 

Some people believe they can handle their DUI case without an attorney. While you do have the right to represent yourself, doing so is rarely advisable. DUI cases typically require a deep understanding of legal procedures and scientific evidence, qualities that a skilled attorney usually possesses. 

As someone who has worked in over 300 trials and more than 1000 contested hearings, I assure you a skilled DUI attorney can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. From challenging the evidence to negotiating plea deals, an attorney brings invaluable expertise and insight to your defense.  

Misconception 4: "A DUI conviction will ruin my life." 

While a DUI conviction can have serious consequences, it doesn't have to define your future. Many people fear that a DUI on their record will completely derail their personal and professional lives.  

Although a DUI conviction can lead to penalties like fines, license suspension, and increased insurance rates, there are ways to mitigate these effects. 

First-time offenders may be eligible for alternative sentencing options, such as court supervision or alcohol education programs, which can reduce the long-term impact of a DUI conviction.  

Also, with effective legal representation, you can explore potential defenses and strategies to minimize the consequences of your charges. 

Understanding DUI Laws in Illinois 

Understanding Illinois-specific DUI laws is important for anyone facing charges in the state. During my time as an Assistant State’s Attorney, I encountered many cases involving these specific laws.  

Here are a few key points to keep in mind: 

Zero Tolerance for Underage Drivers 

Illinois has a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21. Any detectable amount of alcohol in their system can result in a DUI charge. 

Aggravated DUI 

Certain factors can escalate a DUI charge to an aggravated DUI, which carries harsher penalties. These factors include having a child passenger under 16, causing an accident that leads to serious injury or death, or having multiple DUI convictions. 

Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) 

First-time offenders may be eligible for an MDDP, which allows them to drive during their license suspension period with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) installed in their vehicle. 

The Importance of Personalized Legal Representation 

Every DUI case is unique, and a one-size-fits-all approach to legal representation simply doesn't work. At Mockaitis Law Group, I believe that personalized engagement is key to achieving the best possible outcome.  

Whether you want to be involved in every decision or prefer to entrust your case entirely to my expertise, I am committed to tailoring my defense strategies to your needs. 

I believe that successful defense strategies are built on a foundation of trust, open communication, and a deep understanding of each client's circumstances.  

If you're facing DUI charges, I encourage you to reach out to my office for a consultation. Together, we can work towards a favorable resolution to your case. 

Meet With a DUI Lawyer in Chicago, Illinois 

I'm a skilled problem solver who spent ten years as an Assistant State’s Attorney for DuPage County. If you're facing DUI charges and need legal assistance, you can place your trust in me. I serve clients in Chicago’s West Suburbs, with an office in Oswego, Illinois. 

Call my firm and schedule an appointment today.