Insights, articles and information regarding DUIs, a suspended or revoked license, or other traffic offenses

Read insights, articles and information regarding DUIs, a suspended or revoked license, or other traffic offenses from the Law Office of Daniel Calandriello, located in Palos Hills, IL.

A lot of our clients ask about this handheld machine that they blow into on the side of the road. The police officer will request the driver to blow into this small handheld device right before they arrest him for DUI. It’s usually the last thing done before the officer arrests you.


You blow into it, just like a breathalyzer but the officer tells you it can’t be used against you in court. It’s called the PBT or Preliminary Breath Test. It is true that the prosecution cannot use the results of the PBT during your criminal case for DUI, however it can be used against you during a Petition to Rescind your Statutory Summary Suspension hearing. It can be devastating during that hearing since it provides the officer with reasonable grounds that you are under the influence of alcohol – especially if you blow over the legal limit. As an experienced DUI attorney, you need an advocate on your side to understand the PBT and how you can invalidate the PBT or at least call into question it’s accuracy.

Only an experienced Driving Under the Influence (DUI) attorney knows the ins and outs of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) and you should never accept anything less when you hire an attorney to fight your DUI.


The SFST consist of 3 basic tests. The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), Walk and Turn, and The One Leg Stand tests. With all the SFST the officer needs to provide proper instructions and needs to ask the driver specific questions ensuring the accuracy of the tests. For example, during the HGN test, the officer must ask if the driver has contacts on. Not providing proper instructions calls into question the accuracy of the test and will greatly help in your defense. These details are only known by an experienced DUI attorney, so don’t be fooled by hiring the cheapest attorney you find. During the HGN test, the officer is testing the driver to see if the driver has consumed alcohol, not if he or she is intoxicated during the HGN test. This point is confused all the time by defense attorneys, prosecutors and even the police.


The next two tests help the officer determine if the driver is impaired. These tests are divided attention tests, which means that not only is the officer testing the driver’s physical ability, but also his ability to listen and follow directions. The Walk and Turn test has specific instructions – basically the driver is instructed to walk nine steps forward and nine steps backward. During this time the officer is looking for clues of impairment. The clues include not touching heel to toe, making an incorrect turn, or taking an incorrect number of steps.


Finally, the last test is the One Leg Stand test. Just like the others, there are instructions that the officer must provide the driver to ensure he can complete the test to ensure the driver does not have any conditions which would hinder the accuracy of the test. In summary, the driver is asked to raise one leg in the air and count. The officer is looking at the driver’s balance and ability to count.


These three tests are the only standardized field sobriety tests per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standards. These are the tests the officers must use. There are others that officers use to help determine if a driver is intoxicated but are not standard or approved and usually can’t provide a good basis for a DUI arrest since they are not based on research. These include counting backwards, reciting the alphabet, and finger to nose test.


This article provides you with just a sliver of the knowledge an experienced DUI attorney has and must have to help protect your rights. Your driver’s license, or more importantly your freedom, is at stake. Call now!

Just like a traditional Driver’s License, it’s a privilege to have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). There are special rules that regulate holders of CDLs. Receiving a ticket while driving a vehicle, even your personal vehicle that does not require a CDL, will affect your CDL license and your livelihood. The most popular trap that CDL holders fall into is when they plead guilty and receive a sentence of supervision, because they think this sentence will not affect their CDL license. This is not correct. A supervision sentence will affect your CDL. That petty speeding ticket for going 15 mph over the speed limit could suspend your CDL license. It is a “serious traffic offense” as defined by the Uniform Commercial Driver’s License Act. Do not plead guilty to that speeding ticket! Do not mail in that speeding ticket! Contact an experienced traffic attorney today!
There are qualifying disqualification offenses that CDL holders must stay away from including reckless driving, excessive speed, improper lane change, following too closely and Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
Regarding DUIs, if commercial driver’s license holders receive a statutory summary suspension, their CDL privileges will be disqualified for one year for a first offense and a lifetime disqualification applies for a second offense. If you are a CDL holder, you must hire an experienced DUI attorney. At the Office of Daniel Calandriello, we have expansive litigation experience and contacts with expert witnesses in the field of DUI detection who we can hire to help defend your case. We litigate!

Do not do this alone and hope for the best. You need an experienced attorney to protect your ability to make a living. We can do that. Contact us today!

New laws are going to affect our criminal justice system which only an experienced criminal defense attorney will know. There are a few changes in DUI and drug related laws that you should know about. First, the statute of limitations on prosecution for aggravated DUIs causing death has been removed when the person causing death was driving on a suspended or revoked license. This means that the State could still charge a driver with this type of DUI long after the incident occurred. The state legislatures wanted to make sure that if someone dies years after a bad motor vehicle accident, the driver causing the injury could still be charged for the death. Of course, an experienced DUI attorney will investigate the incident to make sure that the death was undeniably caused by the accident and not some intervening cause. That is a possible defense only an experienced DUI attorney would know how to execute to protect your rights. Second, before the change in law, a person could only be charged for Drug-Induced Homicide if the delivery of the fatal dose was in Illinois. New legislature allows a person to be charged if the death occurred in Illinois, regardless of where the deliver was.

2018 also brings the expansion of Illinois Hate Crime laws including additional qualifying locations and removing the restitution cap with additional civil penalties. Additionally, unlawful contact with a gang member has been redefined to include unlawful participation in street gang-related activity. This should greatly limit the use of this offense by law enforcement. Lastly, there are increased sentencing guidelines for repeat gun offenders.

PALOS HILLS, IL — After more than eight years in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, attorney Dan Calandriello was called to serve the local legal needs of his community. The first-term Orland Park village trustee has opened his own legal practice, specializing in real estate, wills and trusts, and litigation include civil and criminal litigation. After years in the courtroom, Calandriello proved himself to be a tough litigator fine-tuning his persuasive skills.

As an attorney, Calandriello takes a holistic approach to clients’ legal needs. A critical thinker, he believes in weighing all the options before offering counsel. He is passionate about helping clients navigate the complicated legal system and always makes sure that his clients stay informed.


Criminal Penalties

First & Second DUIs:

Most of the time a first time DUI offense (without other aggravating factors) will be a Class A misdemeanor. That means the driver could be facing a maximum of one year in jail. Other possible penalties could be court supervision, conditional discharge or probation. There are many fines and costs associated with any DUI. For a second DUI, the penalties by statute are the same, however the severity of the punishment will be harsher. There is a mandatory five days in jail or 240 hours of community service required for a driver’s second

DUI. In addition, there could be aggravating factors that will increase the possible penalties, such as having children in the car, driving a school bus while intoxicated, having multiple DUI arrests, having a lot of speeding tickets or having a past reckless driving arrest or conviction.

Third DUI and beyond:

A third offense for a DUI could be treated as a felony. This is called an Aggravated DUI and by statute it comes with harsher penalties. Additionally, there are other elements that could cause a first or second DUI to be considered a felony such as the driver getting into an accident, causing great bodily harm or death during an accident, or having a suspended or revoked license.

Civil Consequences:

As an experienced DUI attorney, I have handled thousands of Statutory Summary Suspension Hearings as a former prosecutor. Also, these hearings have dire consequences for your license. If you refuse to provide a breath, blood, or urine sample, your license will be automatically suspended for one year. However, if you provide one of those samples, your license will only be suspended for six months. In addition, I encourage you to read my other article regarding Statutory Summary Suspension Hearings to learn how an Illinois criminal defense attorney can play a vital role in protecting your rights.

Give me a call today because you can’t wait another day!

A Statutory Summary Suspension is a civil consequence of a DUI based on the driver’s refusal to provide a breath, urine, or blood sample the night he or she was arrested. Since driving is a privilege, not right, under Illinois Criminal Law, when you get a license you are consenting to provide a breath, urine, or blood sample when the police believe you are intoxicated. It’s called implied consent and there are consequences for Illinois drivers. If you refuse to provide a breath, urine, or blood sample, your license will be suspended for a longer time than if you provided a breath, urine, or blood sample. Your license will still be suspended if you provide a sample but for a shorter period of time.

Don’t Lose Hope

An experienced DUI attorney can help. An attorney can file a Petition to Rescind this Statutory Summary Suspension. Timing is of the essence and this petition must be filed as soon as possible. The suspension of your driver’s license will go into effect 45 days after notice was given. Under the law there are five ways to attack the Statutory Summary Suspension and get your license back:

  • The driver was not properly placed under arrest for an offense as defined in 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (DUI) or a similar provision of a local ordinance, as evidenced by the issuance of a Uniform Traffic Ticket to other form of charge.

Timing Is Critical

An experienced DUI attorney will investigate the arrest by the officer and make sure all rules and regulations were followed. If the driver wasn’t properly placed under arrest, the petition should be granted.

  • The arresting officer did not have reasonable grounds to believe that the driver was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs, or a combination thereof.

An experienced criminal defense attorney will make sure the police officer can prove to the court that the driver was under the influence. Most petitions address this issue and it is a great opportunity for a DUI attorney to use information received during this hearing to beat your DUI.

  • The driver was not properly warned by the arresting officer as provided in 625 ILCS 5/11-501.1(c) of the Illinois Vehicle Code.

In The Details

An experienced DUI attorney will study the documents in the court file and make sure that there are records to support that the officer provided you with this information the night of the arrest. If the officer did not read the warnings to the motorist before the officer requested the driver to provide a breath sample, the petition should be granted and the driver will get his or her license back.

  • The driver did not refuse to submit to and/or complete the required chemical test or tests, pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/11-501.1(d) of the Illinois Vehicle Code, upon the request of the arresting officer.

An experienced DUI attorney explores the documents and facts regarding the night of the arrest. Based on the driver’s memory of the night and the police officer’s documents, the court could determine that the driver did not refuse to submit to and complete chemical testing. If that is the case, your license will not be suspended.

  • The driver submitted to the requested test or tests but the test sample of blood alcohol concentration did not indicate a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.

An experienced DUI attorney needs to review the police report and the breathalyzer data as soon as possible to be ready for a hearing, sometimes within seconds, on the first court date.

Get An Experienced Lawyer

At the end of the day, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side who can review these materials quickly yet thoroughly. Contact me today and remember that time is of the essence!

The short answer is Yes, you can fight the DUI!

However, only an experienced DUI attorney knows how to beat these cases. There is a whole administrative code regarding the breathalyzer machines that needs to be followed. Under Title 20 Part 1286 of the Illinois Administrative Code, the breathalyzer needs to be properly approved and certified for accuracy, tested repeatedly, and licensed through the Illinois State Police. I have experience with this code and have examined multiple State Troopers regarding these procedures. As an experienced DUI attorney, I know this code inside and out and will use that knowledge to protect your rights. Give me a call!

As a DUI attorney it is important to know the criminal elements (or what the prosecution needs to provide) for the charge of Driving Under the Influence.

There are many issues that only an experienced DUI attorney will be able to attack during trial but he first needs to know the elements of the offense. Under DUI law, there are DUIs for alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two. For all DUIs, a person needs to be driving or in physical control of any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This means you can get a DUI while not actually driving, but even if you are behind the wheel in a parking lot or outside your home.

DUIs involving alcohol

(625 ILCS 5/11-501 (A1) & (A2)), there are two different things an experienced DUI attorney must address. First (A1), is when a driver provides a breath or urine or blood sample that shows that the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was over the legal limit of .08 BAC. This can be proven through a breath or urine sample or a blood draw at a hospital. An experienced DUI defense attorney knows how to expose inaccuracies and errors in this seemingly foolproof scientific evidence. Second (A2), is when the police believe that the driver is simply under the influence of alcohol. Yes, hypothetically, one drink can have you arrested for DUI under Illinois Criminal Law.

There are a couple of statutes regarding DUIs involving drugs or intoxicating compounds, (625 ILCS 5/11-501 (A3) (A4) (A6)). A driver needs to be under the influence of any drug or intoxicating compound that renders the person incapable of driving safely. While the law has changed recently regarding medical marijuana (or possible future changes with recreational use), you do not necessarily get a free pass because you have a medical marijuana card. These are issues an experienced DUI attorney will investigate to make sure your rights are protected.

Finally, DUIs regarding the combination of both alcohol and drugs or intoxicating compounds are governed by an additional statute, (625 ILCS 5/11-501 (A5). A driver needs to be influenced by the combination of alcohol and drugs or intoxicating compounds to the degree that renders the driver incapable of safely driving.

Hire An Experienced Attorney

No matter what type of DUI you are charged with, you need an experienced DUI attorney who will fight for you and make sure your rights are protected. Contact me today!