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DUI and Prescription Drugs

DUI Without Alcohol

The overwhelming majority of DUI cases in Illinois involve the use of alcohol. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol is not the only way that you can be arrested and charged with a DUI. Alcohol is probably the most common intoxicating compound used by the public. Alcohol is legal to buy, does not require a valid prescription from a doctor, and is relatively easy to find and purchase. So, it stands to reason that most DUI cases involve the use of alcohol. In recent years, DUI cases involving the use of illegal drugs, and prescription drugs, has been on the rise in Illinois.

How Can You Be Guilty of a DUI by Using Prescription Drugs?

It is not illegal to operate your motor vehicle on the roadway while using prescription drugs. But if your driving was impaired, and the police and prosecutors can prove in Court that the reason for your impaired driving was because you had ingested prescription drugs, then you can be found guilty of a DUI and punished accordingly. Unlike with alcohol, it is not enough for the prosecutor to prove that you were using prescription drugs at the time of your arrest. In order for you to be found guilty of a DUI based on the use of prescription drugs, the prosecutor will be required to prove that you had used prescription drugs and that your driving was impaired by the use of the prescription drugs. You can be found guilty of a DUI based on alcohol without any evidence of impairment or unsafe driving. You can be found guilty of a DUI by just having a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08 or above. To be found guilty of a DUI based on the use of prescription drugs, it is not enough for the prosecutor to prove that you had used prescription drugs at the time of your DUI. The prosecutor has to prove the use of prescription drugs along with impaired or unsafe driving.

What is A DUI in Illinois?

In Illinois, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle on the public roadway if you are under the influence of alcohol and drugs. A DUI is a Class A Misdemeanor in Illinois. A Class A Misdemeanor DUI in Illinois, carries a maximum punishment of up to one-year in jail, and a maximum fine up to $2,500. In addition to fines, you will also be required to pay the court costs in your case. For the typical DUI involving alcohol, if your blood alcohol content (BAC) was .08 or above, you will automatically be found guilty of a DUI. If you did not take a breathalyzer or blood test, for whatever reason, you can still be found guilty of a DUI if the prosecutor can prove the DUI without a breathalyzer or blood test. Whether you are found guilty of a DUI based on a breathalyzer or blood test, or whether you are found guilty of a DUI based on some evidence that did not involve a breathalyzer or blood test, does not change the crime that you are convicted of, or the potential penalties that you will be facing. The same principle applies to a DUI charge based on the use of prescription drugs. In order to be convicted of a DUI based on the use of prescription drugs, there is no minimal amount of prescription drugs in your blood that would automatically make you guilty of a DUI. The prosecutor must prove that you had ingested prescription drugs along with the impaired or unsafe driving. For a DUI involving the use of prescription drugs, typically, the prosecutors will have a blood test, or an admission by the driver that they had ingested prescription drugs before getting behind the wheel of their vehicle. In other words, if the prosecutor can prove that you had any amount of a prescription drug in your body, and that your driving was impaired, or that you were driving unsafely, you can be found guilty of a DUI.

The Statutory Summary Suspension and Prescription Drug DUI’s

In a typical DUI case involving alcohol, if you take a breathalyzer test, and your BAC was .08 or above, your license will be suspended for six-months starting 46-days after the date of your DUI arrest. If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test for the presence of alcohol, your license will be suspended for 12-months starting 46 days after the date of your DUI arrest. This is called the Statutory Summary Suspension in Illinois. The Statutory Summary Suspension can also apply to DUI charges involving the use of prescription drugs. Unlike a DUI based on alcohol, there is no minimal amount of the presence of prescription drugs in your blood which would automatically cause the Statutory Summary Suspension of your license. Since the only way to prove the presence of prescription drugs in your system is by way of a blood test, if a police officer requests that you voluntarily submit to a blood test to determine whether there are prescription drugs in your system, and you refused to submit to the blood test, you will be facing a 12-month Statutory Summary Suspension of your driver's license because you refused to submit to the blood test.

Unlike DUI's involving alcohol, if you voluntarily submit to a blood test, and the blood test reveals the presence of prescription drugs in your system, your driver's license will not be suspended based on the Statutory Summary Suspension statute. The Statutory Summary Suspension will only apply to prescription drug DUI cases involving a refusal to voluntarily submit to a blood test.

When Only the Best DUI Attorney Will Do for Your DUI

With over 27 years of experience handling DUI cases throughout Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, and Lake County, James Dimeas is one of the most experienced DUI lawyers in Illinois. James Dimeas has the experience necessary to know how to fight every type of DUI case. James Dimeas knows how to thoroughly examine the police reports and break down the police actions and poke enough holes in the state's case to win your DUI case. James Dimeas has a thorough understanding of the policies and procedures involving DUI cases. James Dimeas knows how police are supposed to make valid DUI arrest and understands how police routinely make the type of mistakes that only an experienced DUI lawyer can discover and use to help win DUI cases.

James Dimeas is a nationally-recognized, award-winning, DUI lawyer with over 27-years of experience fighting DUI cases throughout Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, and Lake County. Attorney and Practice Magazine gave James Dimeas the "Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney Award for Illinois," and the "Top 10 DUI Defense Attorney" award. The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys gave James Dimeas the "Top 10 Attorney Award for the State of Illinois." Recently, James Dimeas was recognized by the American Society of Legal Advocates as a "Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer in the State of Illinois For the Year 2018, 2019, and 2020." Expertise named James Dimeas a "Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago." James Dimeas was named a "Best DUI Attorney." The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys recognized James Dimeas as a "10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction." The National Trial Lawyers named James Dimeas a "Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer." AVVO rates James Dimeas as "Superb", a "10 out of 10". the highest rating possible for any DUI lawyer in the United States of America.

If you are facing any type of DUI charge in Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, or Lake County, you can contact James Dimeas anytime for a free and confidential consultation about your DUI case. You can always talk to James Dimeas personally by calling him at 847-807-7405.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
I got into an argument with my ex-boyfriend. One thing led to another and when he came close to me I pushed him away. He called the police and when I spoke to the police I told them that I pushed him without realizing that you don't have to hit someone to be charged with a Domestic Battery. Being arrested was terrifying. I spoke to several attorneys who promised they would win the case and were charging a ridiculous amount of money. A friend referred me to James Dimeas. He was straightforward and honest with me and charged me a very reasonable and affordable fee. He got me into the Kane County Deferred Prosecution Program. I successfully completed the program and I just received paperwork in the mail that the case has been expunged and completely removed from my record. I highly recommend Jim Dimeas. He is an honest and straightforward lawyer that will look out for your best interests. E.A.
★★★★★
Had a DUI and hired a lawyer who lived in my building that I knew for years and trusted. Thought he was my friend. Paid him (more than I should have) and he handled my case for almost a year and totally screwed it up. I fired him and found out that he had given up his law license around the time I hired him. A friend recommended James to me and he took over my case and handled it the way it should have been handled from the beginning. I cannot stress how HIGHLY I recommend James Dimeas. I wish I would have hired him from day one. He answered all my calls and text messages and cleaned up a royal mess that had been created by the previous guy that I thought was a lawyer. I consider James to be a friend and recommend him to all of my friends. What a great lawyer and an even better guy! J.P.
★★★★★
I had been accused of doing something, by my then wife, that I did not do. I was 100% innocent and was at the lowest point in my life. My mother told me to call James Dimeas. Her friend recommended him to her. James fought for me in court and refused to back down, even when the prosecution offered to lower the charges and make me plead guilty. I refused to plead guilty to something I did not do. The case went to trial and James won my case. I was found not guilty because I was NOT GUILTY. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND JAMES DIMEAS! Not only is he a great lawyer, but he is also a great human being. The truth shall set you free! C.D.
★★★★★
James Dimeas is a great lawyer who knows what he is doing and will guide you through every step of the process. He will go above and beyond what he needs to do to help you out. Sometimes I would text him in the evening or the weekend with a question and he would always respond. Really made me feel like he cared about me. When we went to court he tore apart the girl that was making false allegations against me and he won my case. That was one of the greatest day of my life. If you need legal help, the only lawyer should call is James Dimeas. Highly recommended! E.L.
★★★★★
I am so lucky to have stumbled upon this great attorney. I made a really stupid mistake at the worst time. I needed to get a case dismissed within 2 or 3 weeks so I could join the military. I could not leave for Basic Training until the case was dismissed and Jim made some calls and got the case dismissed. What a great guy. I’m so lucky I found him online and called him! Somebody was looking out for me. J.S.