Not Guilty of a DUI After Trial in Rolling Meadows
Not Guilty Verdict after trial for a DUI Charge in Rolling Meadows
People v. Q.G. - I recently represented a client that was charged with a DUI at the Rolling Meadows Courthouse in Cook County. The client had taken a Breathalyzer Test which indicated that his blood alcohol content (BAC) was a .066, which was under the legal limit of .08. In spite of the fact that the client's blood alcohol content was below the legal limit, the police arrested him and charged him with a DUI for Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol. The state realized that they had a weak case so they offered to reduce the DUI down to a Reckless Driving charge and give him Court Supervision, along with 240 hours of community service and alcohol treatment. After reviewing the surveillance videos, audio tapes, and police reports provided by the state, I recommended that the client not accept the offer and take the matter to trial because I believed that the client was not guilty and that we would win the case. After the case went to trial, the judge agreed with my evaluation of the case and found my client not guilty of the DUI.
His vehicle was not swerving and he pulled over his vehicle without any obvious signs of impairment. According to the police report and the squad car video, the officer asked my client where he was coming from and whether he had anything to drink. My client I told the officer that he was coming from dinner at a local restaurant and that he had one beer over a four-hour period. The officer testified that as soon as he encountered my client, he noticed a strong smell of alcohol coming from his breath and that his eyes appeared glassy and bloodshot. The officer told my client that he didn't believe that he only had one beer and my client insisted that he only had one beer.
The officer then requested that my client exit the vehicle and perform Standardized Field Sobriety Tests to determine whether he was under the influence of alcohol. My client refused to perform the Field Sobriety Tests. He told the police officer that he had a prior bad experience with police when he was growing up and that he would rather go down to the Police Station and take a Breathalyzer Test to prove that he was not Under the Influence of Alcohol. The officer kept insisting that my client exit the vehicle to perform the Field Sobriety Tests but my client insisted that he would rather take a Breathalyzer Test and refused to exit his vehicle and perform the Field Sobriety Tests.
Another officer arrived at the scene to assist the original officer. The second officer also tried to convince my client to exit the vehicle and perform the Field Sobriety Tests but my client continued to insist that he was not Under the Influence of Alcohol and kept on offering to go to the Police Station and take a Breathalyzer Test. Eventually, the officers placed my client under arrest, put handcuffs on him, put him in the back of the squad car, and took him down to the Hoffman Estates Police Station for suspicion of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol.
The officer testified that he noticed a strong smell of alcohol in his squad car while he was driving my client to the Hoffman Estates Police Station. At the Police Station, the Police Officer administered a Breathalyzer Test which indicated a blood alcohol content of .066. The officer testified that while at the police station, he noticed that the smell of alcohol coming from my client’s breath was diminishing in strength as time went by. After the client took the Breathalyzer Test, the officer issued him a citation for a DUI and gave him a court date at the Rolling Meadows Courthouse in spite of the fact that his blood alcohol content was below the legal limit.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI) is a class A Misdemeanor in Illinois. A Class A Misdemeanor carries a maximum punishment of up to one-year in County Jail and a maximum fine up to $2,500. In addition to the criminal penalties associated with a DUI in Illinois, a conviction for a DUI may cause your license to be suspended or even revoked. If you refuse to submit to a Breathalyzer Test, you may be facing a 12-month suspension of your driving privileges in Illinois. If you take a Breathalyzer Test and the results are .08 or above, you could be looking at a six-month suspension of your driving privileges in Illinois. Because my client did not refuse to take a Breathalyzer Test he was not looking at a 12-month suspension of his license. And because he did take a Breathalyzer Test and the results were below .08, he was not looking at a six-month suspension of his license. The 12-month and 6-month suspensions, known as the Statutory Summary Suspension, related to the Breathalyzer Test did not apply to this case as they do in most DUI cases in Illinois.
In Illinois, there are two ways that you could be charged with a DUI. The first is if you take a Breathalyzer Test and the blood alcohol content was .08 or above. The second way that you could be charged with a DUI is if the police and the state can prove that you were Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol even if there's no Breathalyzer Test results or blood results, or the Breathalyzer Test was not a .08 or above. In order to prove you guilty of a DUI without a Breathalyzer Test or a blood test indicating a blood alcohol content of .08 or above, the state has to convince the Judge or Jury that you were Driving Under the Influence based on the videotape, statements made by the driver, and all of the other evidence that the driver was Under the Influence of Alcohol. Since my client did not take a breathalyzer test, was not offered a blood test, refused to take any Field Sobriety Tests, and his blood alcohol content was below the legal limit, the state only had the squad car video, the observations of the Police Officers, and any statements made by my client to prove their case.
At the DUI trial of this case, I was able to play the surveillance video from the squad car which showed everything that happened at the scene of the arrest from the moment the officer started following my client’s vehicle until he was placed into the squad car in handcuffs. I showed the Judge that my client was driving his vehicle within his lane of travel the entire time. At no time did my clients vehicle swerve or cross any of the lines of the line of traffic that he was driving in. I was able to point out that mt client answered all of the police officers’ questions without any difficulty and had no difficulty handing him his license and his insurance card. After the client was informed that he was under arrest, he exited his vehicle without any difficulties and walked to the squad car without any difficulties.
I was able to show that the only moving violation committed by my client was that he was driving at a high rate of speed. I pointed out that the only other traffic violation on the squad car video tape was of the Police Officer not making a complete stop at the red light at the intersection of Shoe Factory Road and Higgins when he was making a right turn from Shoe Factory Road onto Higgins on his way to the Hoffman Estates Police Department.
After hearing and seeing all of the evidence in the case, and considering the closing arguments, the Judge found my client not guilty of the DUI and dismissed the charges against him.
James Dimeas is a nationally-recognized, award-winning DUI lawyer. James Dimeas has been handling DUI cases throughout Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, and Lake County, for over 25 years. James Dimeas was named a "Best DUI Attorney" and a "Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago" by Expertise. Recently, Attorney and Practice Magazine gave James Dimeas the "Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney Award for Illinois." The National Academy of Criminal Defense Lawyers gave James Dimeas the "Top 10 Attorney Award for the State of Illinois." The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys named James Dimeas a "10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction." The American Society of Legal Advocates named James Dimeas a "Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer in the State of Illinois For the years 2018 and 2019." The National Trial Lawyers named James Dimeas a "Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer. AVVO rates James Dimeas as "Superb", the highest rating possible for any DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyer in the United States.
If you are being charged with a DUI, you can contact James Dimeas anytime for a free and confidential consultation. You can always speak to James Dimeas by calling 847-807-7405 to talk about your case. James Dimeas will answer your questions and point you in the right direction.