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The 10 Steps of a DUI Arrest in Illinois

If you get arrested for a DUI in Illinois, you should be prepared to go through a series of standard procedures that officers use for just about every DUI arrest in the state.

In general, there are 10 steps you can expect during the arrest process, from the initial stop to your vehicle being impounded.

Here's what to expect:

  1. Initial Stop. A patrol officer makes the stop for probable cause, reasonable suspicion, unusual operation, or at a sobriety checkpoint.

  2. License and Registration. The officer will observe you for any signs of drunken driving and will typically request a copy of your driver's license, vehicle registration, and insurance card.

  3. Field Sobriety Test. If the officer suspects that you are driving drunk, the officer may request that you perform one or more field sobriety tests. This can include walking a straight line and balancing on one foot.

  4. Release. If the officer does not suspect that you were driving drunk, the officer will typically release you. Keep in mind that you could face penalties for poor driving, aside from the DUI.

  5. Arrest. If the officer has probable cause based on the field sobriety tests that you are under the influence, the officer will place you under arrest and take you to the police station. You may also be asked to submit to a chemical test of breath, urine, or blood.

  6. Statutory Suspensions. If your blood alcohol level is less than 0.08% and there are no drugs found in your system, the statutory summary suspension will not apply. If you refuse to submit to or fail to complete testing or have a BAC above 0.08%, the statutory summary suspension will apply.

  7. Driver's License Check. If your driver's license is valid, a receipt will be issued allowing driving for 45 days.

  8. Additional BAC Testing. You may obtain additional blood-alcohol testing at your own expense, and you can use these results in court for your defense.

  9. Posting Bond. You may be taken into custody and detained. You may have an opportunity to post bond and be released from custody.

  10. Vehicle Impoundment. While you are in custody, the authorities may impound your car.

Following a DUI arrest, you may face criminal charges and the prospects of a criminal trial. Contact an experienced DUI attorney to figure out the best way to proceed.

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