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Monmouth Illinois Criminal Defense Law Blog

What factors determine your blood alcohol content (BAC)?

If you were arrested for DUI, you likely registered a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least .08 percent on a Breathalyzer test administered by the officer who pulled you over. It's illegal throughout the country to drive with a BAC at that level. You may not know, however, just what "blood alcohol content" refers to and what factors can impact it.

Your BAC is how much alcohol is in your bloodstream. A .08 percent BAC means you have 8 milligrams (mg) of alcohol in your system for every 10,000 mg of blood.

What you should know about ignition interlock devices in Illinois

If your driver's license has been suspended because of a DUI, you may be able to continue driving as long as you have a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) in your vehicle. A BAIID works similarly to a Breathalyzer. You need to breathe into it before you can start your vehicle. If it detects at least .025 percent blood alcohol content (BAC), the ignition won't work. You will also be prompted at random times while driving to breathe into it again.

These devices are carefully monitored by the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State. Therefore, it's essential not to try to tamper with it or to get someone to blow into it for you. BAIIDs include a camera that takes a photo of the person as they blow into the device.

Why I don't trust Illinois breath test instruments, and why you shouldn't either. Part 1.

The Illinois State Police owns and services breath test instruments used by law enforcement for measuring breath alcohol content of motorists suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. The instruments are supposed to test deep alveolar breath - breath coming from the alveolar regions of the lungs. The alveolar are very thin tissue where oxygen mixes with blood. This deep lung air is supposed to have a good relationship to blood, and by testing it, the instrument is intended to provide an accurate measurement of blood alcohol content. If you have a basic understanding of human physiology, you may be suspect already, but just wait.

Medical marijuana use is increasing significantly in Illinois

The number of people in Illinois who use medical marijuana has risen by a whopping 83 percent just this year. According to numbers reported this month by the state, over 46,000 people are in the state's medical marijuana program. It's roughly a $12,000 per month business, and growers in the state are increasing their crop production. The number of Illinois physicians who are allowed to certify patients for medical marijuana use increased from 2,100 to 3,000 in the past year.

Marijuana helps ease pain related to a variety of conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. However, the most common condition for which Illinoisans use marijuana is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

You may lose your license for DUI but gain a BAIID

The state of Illinois is serious about keeping drunk drivers off its roadways. Perhaps you are a first offender and worry about losing your driver’s license.

You may be eligible for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit, which paves the way for a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device installation in your car.

Understanding Illinois zero tolerance laws

According to the Illinois State Police (ISP), just 10 percent of licensed drivers are under 21. However, 17 percent of fatal alcohol-related crashes involve these underage drivers.

In an effort to protect both young drivers and those who share the road with them, Illinois, like other states, has zero tolerance laws for underage drivers. As the term implies, it's illegal for someone under 21 to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in their system -- a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01 percent or more.

Governor signs new medical marijuana law

Last month, Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Alternatives to Opioids Act. The new law lets Illinois physicians authorize patients whom they'd normally prescribe opioids for pain relief to legally obtain and use medical marijuana instead.

Gov. Rauner noted that "we are the first state to give medical prescribers a way to help adult patients manage their pain without compromising their safety or Illinois' marijuana program standards." He said he hopes this will help in the battle against opioid abuse and overdose. Nearly 2,000 people in Illinois fatally overdosed on opioids in 2016. The effectiveness of marijuana as a substitute for opioids to relieve pain has been documented.

6 examples of white collar crimes

Generally speaking, white collar crimes tend to revolve around money. They're far less obvious crimes, at least to the general public, than things like common burglary or assault. They happen behind the scenes, they are often covered up with paperwork and they can involve hundreds of thousands of dollars.

While they may be more "subtle" crimes and people may think they're just taking advantage of a situation or a loophole, they are still illegal. A few examples of white collar crime include:

  1. Securities fraud, such as insider trading
  2. Insurance fraud, such as reporting losses that never occurred
  3. Mortgage fraud
  4. Tax evasion, which could be as simple as intentionally misreporting earnings for the year so as not to pay taxes on that money
  5. Embezzlement, such as taking money from company accounts and doctoring the books
  6. Money laundering, which is done to attempt to conceal money that was earned illegally

Self-defense and a proportional response

Self-defense is one of the potential defenses to an assault charge. Someone may accuse you of assaulting them, but you may claim that they actually threw the first punch and you were just protecting yourself.

One thing to keep in mind is that a proportional response is typically required for you to effectively claim that you were just defending yourself. You cannot excessively escalate the situation and still make that claim.

Prescription drug DUI charges in Illinois

People often do not think twice before taking medication. After all, if you are following your doctor's instructions, what could possibly go wrong? In Illinois, getting behind the wheel of a car afterward can result in criminal charges.

Generally, Illinois law adopts a zero-tolerance approach for controlled substances. If, at the time of driving, you have any amount of a controlled substance in your system, this can form grounds for criminal charges.

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