When you've been charged with DUI, you need an able Chicago DUI Defense Attorney to examine your case and help you understand your available defenses. Illinois DUI Lawyers emphasize that you should know that a blood alcohol test that shows your blood alcohol content (BAC) was above 0.08% at the time of the test does not constitute conclusive proof that your BAC was at or above 0.08% at the time that you were driving. You might be eligible to pursue the Rising Blood Alcohol Defense.
You see, alcohol, like almost any substance, takes a while after ingestion to metabolize into your bloodstream. When you have a drink, the alcohol first passes through your digestive tract before it enters your bloodstream and begins to impair you and your driving ability. After the alcohol has metabolized into your bloodstream, the effect of that drink first begins to level off and then begins to decrease as the alcohol is broken down by your liver and then passed out of your body.
Chicago DUI Defense Attorneys know that your age, weight, health, gender, and the condition of your liver all play roles in how fast alcohol metabolizes in your system. Before your liver begins to break down the alcohol and take it out of your system, you remain in the "absorption phase" of alcohol consumption with a Rising Blood Alcohol level. During this absorption phase, your BAC rises as the alcohol enters your bloodstream.
After the effect of an alcohol drink has begun to level off and your liver has begun to break down the alcohol and send it out of your system, you are in the "elimination phase" of alcohol consumption and your BAC begins to decrease again. An Illinois DUI Lawyer realizes that a lot of the timing involved in these phases depends on how many drinks you have and how much time elapses between your intake of the drinks.
If you are stopped and charged with DUI while you are still in the absorption phase, and then you are tested for your BAC, the test results might actually reflect a BAC higher than that which you experienced while actually behind the wheel. Your Chicago DUI Defense Attorney points out that the combination of facts involved in the timing of your test, your drinking pattern, factors affecting your metabolization of alcohol, and your test results, among other things might, with the help of an experienced and savvy Illinois DUI Lawyer, convince a jury that your BAC was actually under the legal limit at the time that you were still driving. The Rising Blood Alcohol Defense might succeed in overturning the DUI charge against you.
This Chicago DUI Defense Attorney cautions that you should understand that the Rising Blood Alcohol Defense is a difficult one requiring careful case preparation and presentation. The facts and circumstances of each DUI case vary, and much depends on the timing of your test, the ability to establish your drinking pattern prior to the arrest, and the BAC actually measured by your test results.
Illinois DUI Lawyers know that it's your own credible courtroom testimony, the ability to show you had been drinking just a short time before your arrest, and a very good performance on a field sobriety test that can help make the Rising Blood Alcohol Defense effective in your case. A good performance on a field sobriety test helps to indicate that your BAC might actually have been lower at the time you were first stopped for DUI than a bit later when you might have received your chemical test for alcohol.
Your consistent and courtroom testimony showing your clear memory of the events prior to your arrest and your ability to recall when and how many drinks you had could help convince the jury of the truth of your Rising Blood Alcohol Defense. Chicago DUI Defense Attorneys realize that prosecutors will likely produce credit card receipts or other witness testimony to corroborate when you had your drinks and how many you consumed. So you need to be prepared and be very clear and accurate on these points.
Illinois DUI Lawyers understand that it is not unusual for someone to have had a final drink just before driving, especially if it was a dessert wine with dinner or you were just trying to finish off that expensive bottle of wine you paid for before departing. Being honest about that final drink should not hurt your case much with the jury. Many jurors will have done the same thing and will understand.
And an adept Illinois DUI Lawyer knows how to present the facts of your case to make them clear and understandable to your peers on the jury, especially when they reflect everyday behavior in accordance with general human nature. Jurors understand the need to get your money's worth and not let that wine go to waste after you have paid an exorbitant sum for that bottle of wine to accompany your meal.
This Chicago DUI Defense Attorney reminds you that it's not easy to convince jurors on this point. To most people, even to many experienced drinkers, the Rising Blood Alcohol Defense seems counter-intuitive. Although the body's metabolism doesn't work that fast, people tend to believe that BAC spikes immediately upon drinking an alcoholic beverage, and then declines thereafter. But like most other things, alcohol absorption operates on a curve: first rising, then leveling slightly for a short time, then falling again.
Your Chicago DUI Defense Attorney wants you to be aware that, depending upon the timing of your chemical test and your BAC as measured by those results; the Rising Blood Alcohol Defense might not always be a viable option for you. In one case, People v. Malik, 113 Ill. App 3d 206, 212 (1983), an Illinois Appellate court specifically found that where a defendant's BAC was measured at twice the legal limit just an hour after driving, evidence regarding rates of alcohol absorption was beside the point and unnecessary.
In Village of Bull Valley v. Winterpacht, 2012 Il. App (2d) 101192, the Illinois Appellate division addressed a case where a defendant's blood alcohol level was measured at more than twice the legal limit two hours after she was driving. In that case, responding officers and paramedics could testify to the defendant's slurred speech and inability to answer questions at the time of her accident and to an increasing coherence and observable decline in inebriated behaviors up until the time of her chemical test. Since the evidence demonstrated that the defendant's BAC was likely higher at the time she was driving than at the time of her test, the court held that it was not prejudicial error to fail to introduce evidence regarding retrograde BAC level extrapolation to the time of the accident.
Chicago DUI Defense Attorneys have more room to build your defense because Illinois does not observe a hard and fast rule regarding when a time interval between driving and alcohol testing will conclusively establish the accuracy of DUI test results. There also exists no hard and fast rule regarding when to require retrograde extrapolation of a defendant's BAC at the time he or she was actually behind the wheel. Rather, the totality of the circumstances and facts in the case governs what defense options and strategies are available to your and your Illinois DUI Lawyer.
People v. Newman, 163 Ill. App 3d 865, 868 (1987) held that a delay between the time of driving and the time of the testing goes to the weight that jurors should accord the evidence and that it must be viewed in light of the circumstances surrounding the arrest. Your Illinois DUI Lawyer stresses that the longer the delay, the less weight that a jury might give to evidence regarding alcohol chemical test results. But without the guidance of a skillful Chicago DUI Defense Attorney to bring up this case and its holding, the jury might not know to view evidence from a delayed alcohol test with more skepticism.
Another Illinois Appellate case, Petraski v. Thedos, 382 Ill. App 3d 22, 32 (2008), specifically provided DUI defendants and their Illinois DUI Lawyers with authority to challenge their concerns about the facts upon which the defendant's BAC was determined during trial cross-examination. So an experienced and diligent Chicago DUI Defense Attorney, knowledgeable on the authority provided by Illinois case law, could use the opportunity of a careful cross-examination to successfully tear away at the weight of the prosecution's evidence when the timing of intervals between your drinking, the DUI stop, and your BAC testing justifies this approach.
DUI cases where the Rising Blood Alcohol Defense can be used effectively remain rare. But if your case is eligible for such a defense, you should not let the opportunity go to waste for want of effective counsel. Hire experienced Chicago DUI Defense Attorney Michael P. Schmiege to prepare your case and address the issue to the jury of a lower BAC at the time you were actually driving. Illinois DUI Lawyer Mr. Schmiege offers a free initial consultation in order to discuss and evaluate your case and your possible defenses. Time is of the essence. Don't wait until important evidence that you need for your defense has gone stale. Call today. (312) 906-7800
NOT GUILTY – Possession of a Controlled Substance w/ Intent to Deliver
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol – NOT GUILTY
"Michael Schmiege is an excellent attorney. He is honest, diligent and gets great results. If you find yourself in need of a lawyer, he is great at what he does. Never over-promises, but definitely delivered more than we had hoped for. His team will help you all the way. Answers all your questions promptly and clearly states what to expect. I highly recommend Michael and his team. They CAN and will help!"
"Mr. Schmiege is well respected by the court because he is a very honest man. He was very kind and respectful to me. His fees were reasonable. His office is very easy to find, and his staff is very helpful."
"I am so appreciative of the help and support that I received from Michael and his team members! They truly helped me figure out my case and I got outstanding results. If anyone can help you get great results, it’s Michael. I had an immigration issue as well and he worked with my immigration lawyer to help find the best solution. He understood that I made a mistake but it didn’t define who I was. I definitely don’t want to go through any of this again but I’m glad that I had the support to get through this."