After a few drinks at a party, you were driving home listening to your favorite CD, when you heard the siren behind you. The police pulled you over because you had crossed momentarily into the adjoining lane. Once stopped, the police smelled alcohol on your breath, and now you are charged with DUI.

Did the police have probable cause to stop you? What can you do?
Improper lane usage is one of the most common violations used to pull over drunk drivers. Even if you only briefly crossed the line, the police may have the reason they need to stop you. Illinois law (625 ILCS 709) requires that where a roadway is divided into two clearly marked lanes, a driver must stay as nearly as practicable within a single lane. Recent case law has held that even a brief crossing into the next lane is probable cause, and your crossing need not be a danger to others.

If you are charged with DUI, contact an experienced attorney immediately. An attorney can evaluate your case for the best possible defense. Illinois law requires that you stay in your lane if practicable. Maybe the road was in bad shape and you were weaving to avoid potholes. Maybe a review of the squad video from your stop will show that your driving was not impaired. Plus an early call to an attorney increases the chance that you can avoid the suspension of your driver’s license.

Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a better plea agreement than you can on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related 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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