Saturday, July 28, 2012

DUI Not the Only Way to Lose Your License as a Result of Alcohol Consumption

As I've discussed before in this blog, part of a DuPage DUI charge usually includes not only a criminal component, but also a civil, driver's license suspension component.  Although it is my job to defend drivers who've been charged with DUI in DuPage County, I can understand the legislative intent in taking away someone's driver's license when its likely they've abused the license by negligently deciding to drive.

But what if you haven't been driving at all?  I'm not talking about sitting in the car with the keys in the ignition when your drunk.  As I've discussed before even this innocuous behavior can and does result in DUI charges.  What if you're just at a party and the police are somehow called?  And what if you're underage?
Remember no cars, no driving.

Well believe it or not if someone under the age of 21 is caught by the police having consumed any amount of alcohol that unlucky person could be charged with underage consumption of alcohol.  OK that's not so surprising.  But what if a DUI defense lawyer like myself were to tell you that even if this under 21 year old
pled guilty and received court supervision for this "drinking ticket" the Illinois Secretary of State would suspend that driver's license for 12 months.

Yep, that's right.  You can join the Army, go to Afghanistan, fight for your country, come home with PTSD and go to a welcome back party before your 21st birthday.  If you're then talking to a friend and a police officer happens by and smells the odor of alcohol . . .you can be arrested.  You go to court without a lawyer, plead guilty, get court supervision and then the bomb really drops when Jesse White sends you a letter telling you your license is suspended.

As a  DuPage DUI Defense attorney occasionally clients approach me with this type of problem.  Frequently the solution is to plea bargain with the prosecutor for an amendment of the charge to something like disorderly conduct which does not carry a mandatory or discretionary license suspension.  If you've been arrested for DUI or any alcohol related offense the Law Offices of Brent M. Christensen can help.  Call 630-665-5965 for an appointment.

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