Friday, December 14, 2012

Santa and DUI

I have to admit that upon reading the headline, I thought this was going in a very different direction.

The excellent article linked to below discusses the use of alcohol detection devices in your automobile. These are issues you need to know about now. This is coming

Happy holidays from Fagan, Fagan & Davis!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Carlton Fisk arrested for DUI in Illinois

Say it ain't so, Carlton! The ex-Chicago White Sox Hall of Famer was apparently asleep behind the wheel, off the road in a cornfield. He was transported to the hospital according to reports, and was disoriented. Police found an open bottle of alcohol in the car.

The catcher's DUI attorneys may have fertile ground to challenge many aspects of this case, and we'll be curious to see what develops.

Ex-Sox catcher Carlton Fisk arrested for DUI

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Miss Howard Stern DUI (not Mrs. Howard Stern, thank you)!

The formally crowned and currently reigning Miss Howard Stern, Andrea Ownbey, was arrested for DUI after an accident on October 8, and took a breath test revealing a 0.17 breath result.

No word yet on whether the Howard Stern show will rescind Miss Ownbey's title due to a conflict with their high moral standards. Ahem . . .

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Don't drink and drive! 'Cause that's DUI. Really? No.

I'm going to say something about DUI law that might sound controversial. It isn't though - it just sounds that way. And that's because of the outrageous, emotionally exploitative mantra you've heard over and over. Say it with me . . .
. . . oh, didn't catch that one? Maybe you've heard . . .

Of course, there have been other great variants. They do their job well. They are catchy, they drive home the idea that . . . wait, what idea do they drive home exactly?

I'll tell you. The idea they drive home is that if you've consumed any alcohol whatsoever, even if you are in no way affected by it, someone (someone angry in uniform with a gun) is coming to get you because society won't tolerate it.

That's the message, but that's going too far. The truth is that unless it is otherwise illegal for you to consume alcohol, drinking and driving is not DUI, and you shouldn't lose a thing. Drinking to the point that your judgement is affected, your coordination, your sense of timing, your reaction time . . . that's what's important. Why not just say that?

It's not catchy, is it?

Want to learn more? Watch the video:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Chicago DUI payout for false arrests - too little, too late?

Chicago was in a pickle. They had an officer, Richard Fiorito, who had been consistently accused of wrongful arrest by many different Defendants over a long period of time. As we've chronicled here before, this goes beyond Officer Fiorito alone (who has resigned his position as of this past December). To get out of this pickle, the city will have to pay $450,000 to two separate plaintiffs and their attorneys.

As a different approach, perhaps the money might be better spent in the future on better training in DUI enforcement and professionalism?

Chicago to pay of $450,000 to 2 drivers over false DUI charges

If you face prosecution for DUI in Chicago, don't automatically give up without a fight. Call us for a free consultation at 847-635-8200.

How long is your Illinois Driver's License Suspension if this IS NOT your first DUI?

A police officer arrests you for DUI in Illinois. After the officer has formed the belief you have been driving under the influence of alcohol, cannabis (marijuana), methamphetamine or some other intoxicating substance, he seems to be under the impression you can understand it if he reads you a bunch of legalese about driver's license suspensions. He refuses to explain any of it "sorry bro, I can't" and hands you a stack of papers.

Later, you realize . . . this means trouble.

Your drivers license is going to be suspended. But you've had a DUI before - so for how long is this suspension supposed to be?

Watch and learn, then call us.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Skokie has DUI Roadblocks scheduled for Labor day

Many municipalities will have DUI roadblocks, known in Illinois as Roadside Safety Checks (but we know what they are, don't we?), and we'll post what know about here.

For now, know that the Skokie police department will be out in force making DUI arrests on the following dates, times and locations.
  • Friday, Aug. 24 – 25, 2012, 11:15 p.m. – 3:15 a.m., 5005 Dempster St., Skokie IL
  • Sunday, Sept. 02 – 03, 2012, 11:15 p.m. – 3:15 a.m., 5200 Touhy Ave, Skokie IL
DUI Roadblock arrests are valid in Illinois if the police follow the rules, but absolutely can be defended by experienced DUI lawyers, so if you find yourself in a pickle as a result of one of these "show me your papers" stops, call us at Fagan, Fagan & Davis at 847-635-8200, and we'll be happy to discuss your defense.

Here's the original publication in Skokie's "Patch" -

Seat Belt, DUI Checkpoints Scheduled for Labor Day Weekend

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Does taking the DUI breath test mean automatic guilty? Definitely not!

Motorists arrested for DUI in Illinois typically take a breath test or other chemical test, like blood or urine. Illinois law is structured to encourage people to take the breath test, and police officers are trained to push them as well. 

The vast majority of those who do submit to breath testing blow a 0.08 or above, the legal limit under Illinois law as well as nationwide. A common question we get at Fagan, Fagan & Davis is if you took the breath test and the result was 0.08 or higher, is there any chance of winning the DUI?

In some cases, yes there certainly is - but far too many defendants and lawyers give up without a fight and plead guilty without ever exploring issues real DUI lawyers look at every day to help their clients.

Watch the video to learn more, then, if you're facing a DUI in the Chicago area, pick up the phone and call our office to discuss!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Weird DUI of the Day: Pastor suspended after DUI, nude-driving arrest

The truth? People of all stripes (and some without stripes at all, or anything for that matter) get arrested for DUI every day. Even well-liked pastors. Even naked.
Pastor suspended after DUI, nude-driving arrest

Seriously, based on the article and other reports, it is entirely possible that there is more to the story here, and prescription drugs may have played a part in this unexpected situation. Hopefully, the pastor engages the services of a DUI attorney that will take a careful look into . . . the bare truth.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

First DUI Arrest? How long will that Statutory Summary Suspension last?

It was a bad night. A police officer has just arrested you for DUI in Chicago, maybe in the suburbs or on the highway by the Illinois State police or some local police department. You're tired. You're confused. You're scared. Maybe you had something to drink or smoke (allegedly).

And then the officer reads you a bunch of stuff and hands you some papers. Maybe you'll even try to read them.

When arrested for DUI in Illinois, you're supposed to be warned that if you take a breath test or a blood or urine test and show a positive result, you'll be suspended for a certain amount of time. You're supposed to be told that if you refuse any test, that changes the amount of time.

Here's what you need to know to decipher all that mess.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Do you need a lawyer for your DUI arrest in Illinois?

Subtitle: Do you need a cardio-thoracic surgeon or will you be performing your own heart surgery today?

Really. That's about the size of it. DUI in Illinois has so many potentially far-ranging consequences that it makes the question seem almost silly. In fact, if for some strange reason you appear at your first court appearance without an Illinois DUI lawyer, the very first thing you'll likely hear from the Judge is "where is your attorney?"

That isn't the Judge being smart-alecky (though some members of the bench are pretty adept at that). If you tell a Judge you don't have an attorney for a DUI, watch their face as they attempt to stop themselves from rolling their eyes. Most of the time they'll be successful just because they're too busy, but sometimes you might catch them in the act.

DUI isn't a traffic case. It isn't a criminal case. It isn't a seminar on forensic science. It isn't civil litigation. No, in Illinois, it's all those things and more. There are aspects of every one of those fields involved, and punishments range from the civil, such as driver's license suspension or revocation, to the criminal, including jail or prison time, significant fines, community service, and alcohol or substance treatment. DUI can affect your future employment prospects, social standing, and where applicable, immigration status.

In short, you need a lawyer. A lawyer that focusses on defense of DUI.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Does a DUI suspension begin immediately after a DUI arrest?

A DUI arrest in Illinois is scary enough. Then you might hear an officer or some well-meaning soul telling you (or implying) that your driver's license is going to be suspended right away. But that's just what happens.

Before you wonder how you're going to get to work, school, the grocery store, the doctor in the morning, take a peek at this:

Then give us a call at 847-635-8200, email us at

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ever wonder what to wear to your court date? Or what not to wear?

Very often clients ask us what to wear to court when appearing for an Illinois DUI case or a criminal defense case, and we're grateful they do. Some don't bother asking. Sometimes the results are fun, and sometimes not.

Of course, sometimes those are the very people who might need to hear our advice. If you'd like to learn about how you should dress for Court (and you should) check out our video below.

So to recap, while a suit and tie or your "Sunday best" wouldn't hurt, semi-casual attire attire will do nicely. No boy shorts, tank-top tees, or shirts with pictures of big marijuana leafs on the back, ok?

Call us at 847-635-8200 now or email for help with your case!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Arrested for DUI. Lost Job. DUI Dismissed. Justice?

It happens. People get arrested for DUI and other criminal offenses every day. Many face the fear they'll lose their jobs over it. If their jobs are public enough, sometimes they even feel pressure to resign though they have a great criminal defense attorney, have every intention of fighting for themselves, and might actually not be guilty of the charges they face.

Consider the sad tale of one J. Randolph Babbitt. Yes, that Babbitt, the former head of the Federal Aviation Administration, who resigned in shame over his DUI arrest amid public outcry. UPI reports today that Mr. Babbitt's DUI was recently dismissed due a violation of Babbitt's Constitutional rights protecting him (and you) from unlawful arrest. The police must have probable cause to make an arrest for DUI, and in this case, the Judge did not see it.

Meanwhile, Mr. Babbitt is out of a job.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Gotta go on Cinco de Mayo? You might get arrested for DUI!

A recent study likened the impairing effects of need to use the facilities as similar to those exhibited when driving under the influence of alcohol.

Put aside for the moment the quality of that research and think about that.

Are you likely to drink and then afterwards drive this May 5 for Cinco de Mayo? That's legal as long as you haven't drunk to the point you're intoxicated, but even so, you might just need to hit the john before you get going, or risk your local Illinois police officer mistaking your little dance for evidence of a DUI.

Drive safe and smart, and remember to call Fagan, Fagan & Davis at (847) 635-8200 if you need help!

Study says having to pee at the wheel is like driving drunk -

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Worried that people getting arrested for DUI just won't learn their lesson? Don't.

According to the Illinois Secretary of State 2012 DUI FactBook, 85% of all people arrested for DUI in Illinois in 2010 were first-time offenders. Also according to the report, 3,440 motorists resulted in revocations after their second offense, 866 for their third, and 436 for their fourth or later (a revocation only occurs after a conviction, and does so automatically). The overall number of DUI arrests has decreased annually from 2008 through 2010 as well.

Unless police simply aren't arresting as many people for some reason, it would appear that Illinois' efforts at preventing recidivism, or the tendency to re-offend, are largely effective.

In Illinois, motorists charged with DUI for the first time are generally eligible for a special one-time chance to dispose of their case via a sentence of Court Supervision. After a finding of guilty, whether after trial or plea of guilty, a defendant can avoid a conviction and jail as long as they comply with certain conditions. This is no free ride - there are significant fines, alcohol education classes and treatment are required, and a criminal record remains forever.  The Court also requires a VIP or victim impact panel run by MADD, and can require significant community service, random alcohol testing and other conditions.

Consistent with the Secretary of State's previous reports on the issues I've written about, the cost of a DUI remains extremely high, and the Secretary of State still pegs the estimated cost of a first DUI at over $16,000.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Grayslake police chief charged with DUI - refused all testing. Wonder why?

The Grayslake Illinois police Chief  was charged with drunk driving after a Wisconsin crash Friday. In a wise move that will be no surprise to anyone knowledgable about DUI law and enforcement, the Chief refused to submit to any field sobriety testing, refused medical treatment (which potentially includes blood and urine testing) and refused an evidentiary or forensic blood testing.

Why do this?

Naturally, people tend to think the police live by their famous motto of "To Protect and Serve," and that's certainly usually part of the mix. That said, in the matter of DUI, it's a bit more like "To Investigate and Arrest".

The tests aren't really a chance to prove you're not under the influence of alcohol. They're really to help support the officer's decision to arrest. And by the time you're doing the tests, most officers have already made that decision.

How do I know this? Let's take a short trip down Logic Lane.

One field sobriety test is the Heel-Toe or Walk-and-Turn test. "Failure" of this test occurs when any two "clues" are observed. Clues include things like leaving more than a one inch gap between feet, raising arms at any time more than 6" away from the body, stepping off an imaginary line. There are a total of 18 steps in either direction. So if on one out of eighteen steps, you leave a two inch gap between steps and also raise your arms 6.5" (in the officer's eagle-eyed estimation) you've failed, despite walking the other 17 steps just fine. In any school in the world, 17/18 is an "A", but not here.

Now you can begin to understand why the Chief, who of course knows all of this, refused testing.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Man bites dog: Woman with 0.295 breath test NOT charged with DUI in Illinois!

In a bizarre twist, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, a driver in an accident in Cook county, right around the corner from Chicago, Illinois, allegedly was found with a spent bottle of Patron, failed field sobriety tests, and then submitted to a breath test that showed a 0.295 breath alcohol level. For those who may have been living on Mars, that's a lot.

And then she was not charged with DUI.

The officer reportedly told the driver she was "getting a break." I have to agree - an Illinois DUI arrest means big trouble, including a minimum six month license suspension, criminal charges that carry penalties up to 364 days in jail and $2500 in fines plus court costs. As I've said here before, according to the Illinois Secretary of State, dealing with a DUI in Illinois costs around $15,000.00 when all is said and done. The Illinois Department of Transportation puts that number more at about $19,000.00.

So yes, while there may indeed be missing facts we don't have (maybe the officer saw the driver chugging the bottle of Patron while standing outside her car after the accident, or maybe she's in the Federal witness protection program?), it's fair to suggest this qualifies as "getting a break".

Most people aren't so lucky, and if you or your loved one is not "getting a break" on a DUI, criminal or traffic matter, don't hesitate to call and speak with me or one of my partners at Fagan, Fagan & Davis by calling 847-635-8200 now for a free consultation.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Will this be another oops? Illinois trials to be televised?

From the Chicago Tribune:
Illinois trials may soon be televised

The Illinois Supreme Court is promulgating rules that will allow a more open courtroom by allowing court proceedings to be televised. While this change is meant to be positive, as with many governmental "advances", this may actually create complex problems down the road. The article notes the possibility that witnesses may feel uncomfortable coming forward, and that's a valid problem, but it's only the tip of the iceberg.

Illinois has laws allowing expungement or sealing of case information in many types of cases where defendants are found not guilty or the case is dismissed, and even in some felony matters resulting in conviction. Once a Court orders a case sealed or expunged, the information about the case is sealed or even destroyed. A potential employer, for instance, would not be able to see information about that case.

What's the point?

What about visual search? Never heard of visual search? If not, you will. It's a technology in its toddling stages, well past infancy. Go ahead and do a Google search for "Visual Search" and as of this moment, you'll find some 30,500,000 results. You plug in your image or photo and the search engine looks for related material. And facial recognition software? It's here now. Apple's iPhone and iPad? There's an app for that. Motorola's Xoom comes with facial recognition built in.

So you beat a criminal charge at trial and go through the process of expungement all with help from your local highly qualified Illinois Criminal defense attorneys, but guess what? Your trial was televised! And some soul with more time than tact uploaded a copy of the video to, where else, YouTube. So when you pop in for your job interview, your interviewer snaps a photo, uploads it to the Google of visual search (which will probably be Google) and presto chango - Illinois' expungement law is circumvented.

I can't help but wonder if this was considered by the Illinois Supreme Court? What do you think?