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Illegal Immigrants Can Face Severe Punishments for DUI

Posted on in Drunk Driving Accidents

Chicago auto accident lawyer, drunk driving accidents, illegal immigrants, illegal immigrants DUI, deportation, driving under the influence, auto accidents, drinking and driving, DUI attorneyDrunk driving continues to be a serious offense that is costly not only to the perpetrator, but to potential victims, highway patrol, and the state DOT. In 2012, the most recent year for which data was available, there were a staggering 37,126 DUI arrests in Illinois, according to the 2014 Illinois DUI Fact Book.

More than 90 percent of all people arrested for DUI lost their driving privilege. Length and context of punishment, however, is determined by the severity of the incident. The vast majority (86 percent) of all people arrested for DUI were first-time offenders and also male. Women only made up 23 percent of those arrested.

If pulled over for DUI in Illinois, you can refuse a blood alcohol content (BAC) test, but will likely face longer probation periods. If, for example, you are charged with DUI as a first offense and you agree to chemical testing, your license will be suspended for six months. If you refuse chemical testing, you license will be suspended for a year. If there has been an accident that resulted in great bodily harm or death, a police officer is required by law to request a chemical test. In the event that a person refuses, he will have his license suspended for up to 12 months. It is all rather straightforward—if you drink and drive, your license is suspended. Yet if you are in the country illegally, a single DUI arrest can flip your world upside down.

Illegal immigrants who are charged with DUI can be deported, regardless of how long they have been in the country, their employment status, or familial status. A controversial program known as Secure Communities (initiated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) was implemented in an effort to combat illegal immigration.

The initiative allowed participating agencies to run fingerprints of anyone in county or local jail. If the person was in the country illegally, he or she could face deportation. With that said, however, USImmigration.com reports that Illinois was the first state to withdraw from participation in the program. Regardless, if you are an illegal immigrant and are pulled over for DUI, you could have more on your plate than license suspension.

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, the most important first step is to seek legal counsel from a DUI attorney. Contact Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. today.

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