DDT Client Gets License Back After DUI at Bridgeview Courthouse
Most married couples are prone to an argument or two, but for one client, the consequence of having a dispute with his wife lead to a DUI charge.
One morning, in March 2019, the Burbank police Department approached our client – who was asleep in his truck near the intersection of 85th Street and Lamon Avenue. The night before, rather than continue to argue, our client had gone to his truck to sleep. When police arrived, officers observed two cans of beer in his truck and felt a DUI investigation was appropriate.
Officers asked our client questions and had him perform a standardized field sobriety test, which is extensively used by police agencies across the country to help determine whether a person is intoxicated. This test is often administered incorrectly and often misinterpreted by law enforcement agencies. If you have taken a standardized field sobriety test, it is important to have a qualified criminal defense attorney review your case.
After participating in the standardized field sobriety test, officers indicated our client has successfully completed the one leg stand task. However, they marked that the one leg stand test – as well as the horizontal gaze Nystagmus test, showed signs of alcohol impairment. Because of this, the Burbank police officers felt they had reasonable suspicion our client was intoxicated, meaning they believed it was within their power to request our client submit to a chemical alcohol test.
In Illinois, DUI cases generally have two components: The criminal misdemeanor/felony charge, and the administrative suspension of a person’s driving privileges. When someone refuses to take a chemical test or the test shows they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) greater than .08, the motorist’s driver’s license is suspended.
In our case, our client refused to submit to a chemical breath test. As a result, the Illinois Secretary of State suspended his driving privileges for one (1) year. On behalf of our client, we requested and received the state’s information about his case and filed the appropriate paperwork to preserve our client’s right to dispute his driver’s license suspension.
Our client’s case was heard at the Bridgeview Courthouse, which is the Fifth District in Cook County. Over the years, we have represented many clients at this courthouse. Our firm is familiar with the judges and prosecutors in his courthouse.
In helping our client, we reviewed the state’s case against him. We read the reports generated by the Burbank Police Department, as well as reviewed video from the officer’s dash cam. It became clear to us the state was going to have a difficult time proving its case. However, our clients make the final decision in how they would like their case to move forward. After reviewing the discovery, our client wanted to consider a plea agreement. Even though we believe there was a good opportunity to prevail at trial, we respected our client’s decision and approached the state’s attorney with the facts of the case.
Afterwards, we met with our client and explained the offer from the state’s attorney. We felt the offer was not in the best interest of our client, and again we recommended a trial. Our client agreed and we moved forward to prepare for trial.
At trial, we were able to show the judge the state had little proof of our client’s alleged intoxication. We demonstrated that his performance on the standardized field sobriety test were not indicative of intoxication and there was no proof he had operated his vehicle in an in proper manner.
The judge ruled that the beer cans – which launch the investigation into the alleged DUI, were empty. The judge’s position indicated that empty beer cans in someone’s vehicle does not have any relevance as to whether they are intoxicated at a given time.
The judge agreed with our position and found the state did not prove its case. Our client was found innocent of all charges. Further, the judge ordered our client’s driver’s license suspension be terminated immediately.