Crashing While Intoxicated
McHenry County DUI lawyer Robert H. Hanaford represents people who have been charged with drunk or drugged driving, including in cases involving car accidents. Mr. Hanaford helps the people whom he represents understand the charges against them, navigate the criminal justice process, and build the strongest defense possible under the circumstances. He is a former elected official who has been actively involved in the local community for much of his professional life. Mr. Hanaford is also a seasoned attorney who has been fighting for the rights of his clients for three decades.
Mr. Hanaford has been certified through the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) Standard Field Sobriety Testing course. This is the same program in which all qualified DUI police officers receive training. NHTSA sets the national standard for administering field sobriety tests that police officers are expected to follow—but often do not.How Police Check for Impairment after a Crash
Car accidents are an unfortunate possibility at any time that you get behind the wheel of a car. It is important to understand that a crash, by itself, is not enough to prove that one of the drivers involved was drunk or impaired by drugs at the time. The accident could have been caused by a wide variety of factors, from poor road conditions to dangerous behavior like speeding, failing to use turn signals, or texting while driving. That said, police officers who arrive on the scene following a collision often check the drivers for intoxication. Medical personnel are also required by state law to turn over the results of any tests performed on people who receive treatment as a result of a car accident.
If the police suspect that one driver in a crash is under the influence, they may ask the driver to submit to certain tests to determine his or her blood alcohol content (BAC). In Illinois, a driver whose BAC is 0.08 percent or more is considered legally intoxicated and unfit to drive. A driver whose BAC registers somewhere between 0.05 percent and 0.08 percent may also be charged with DUI, if other evidence shows that he or she was driving while impaired. Police officers often ask a driver suspected of DUI to submit to a field sobriety test, in which the driver is asked to perform basic physical tasks, or to take a breathalyzer exam to determine his or her BAC. A driver is not required to submit to these or any other tests, unless the driver has been arrested and charged with DUI.
However, a driver may be forced to submit to a chemical breath, blood, or urine test following an arrest. If you decline the test at that point, your driver’s license will likely be suspended for up to one year if you have no previous history of DUI.
A person charged with DUI as a result of an accident involving one or more other vehicles may also face additional charges and penalties related to the crash. These often include criminal charges like aggravated assault and battery or involuntary manslaughter. The driver may also be subject to civil liability for injuries related to the crash. A driver found to be intoxicated at the time of an accident is likely to be deemed negligent under Illinois personal injury law, and therefore that person may be liable for money damages that any victims incurred.Consult a McHenry County Lawyer to Fight a DUI Charge
If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, drunk driving attorney Robert H. Hanaford can help. Mr. Hanaford is a seasoned McHenry County DUI attorney who regularly presents seminars through the state bar association and writes on trial practice and other topics for attorneys and judges. He understands the legal issues that regularly come up in these cases and knows how to build a solid defense for the people whom he represents. Mr. Hanaford proudly serves people in Crystal Lake, Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, Woodstock, Cary, McHenry, Fox River Grove, and other communities throughout McHenry County. We also can represent defendants in many areas of Cook, Kane, and Lake Counties, such as Arlington Heights, Palatine, Barrington, and Elgin. You can contact us online, call the Chicago office at (312) 899-9020, or call the McHenry County office at (847) 516-5297. To set up a free consultation, call Mr. Hanaford’s cell phone at (312) 636-4807.