The answer depends on a variety of factors.

Were you driving? Are there witnesses to your driving?  Did the officer observe the odor of alcohol at the scene?  Were there beer cans or open evidence of drug use in the car? To convict you, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were driving and that you were impaired.

Did you cause the accident?  What kind of damage was done to the vehicles involved?  Note that even if you didn’t cause the accident, you may still be charged with DUI. The accident gives police the probable cause needed to question you regarding what happened.  Even if the presence of alcohol isn’t obvious, such questioning may lead to evidence that can justify your arrest.

Did the officer ask you to perform field sobriety tests?  Is there video of those tests or of the accident scene?  If so, the video may strongly influence the judge’s opinion of what happened. If police recorded a video and then lost it, you may be able to contest your entire case on that basis.

If you did cause the accident while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may face stiffer charges or penalties, particularly if anyone was severely injured or killed.

If you have been charged with DUI or a similar offense, contact an experienced attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense.  An attorney can probe for weaknesses in the state’s case. Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)


About mdkeenan

A criminal and school law attorney with over 17 years of experience, I have successfully represented clients all over the Chicago area. My practice includes DUI, felony, criminal, misdemeanor, homicide, internet crime, retail theft, traffic offenses, cyberstalking, drug crimes, weapons violations, domestic battery and juvenile crime. I also represent families involving school cases. My clients come from all over the Chicago area including Skokie, Wilmette, Niles, Northbrook, Glenview, Evanston, Winnetka, Highland park, Northfield, Park Ridge, Des Plaines and Mount Prospect. I am a member of the ACLU and the Illinois State Bar Association. I serve as a volunteer for First Defense Legal Aid. Se habla espanol.
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