If you are pulled over by the police for drunk driving, you may wonder, “Do I have to take a breathalyzer when asked?” Of course, you can always say no, however, it is important to understand the consequences of refusing to take a breathalyzer in Illinois.
What Happens If I Refuse to Take a Breathalyzer?
The legal limit in Illinois 0.08% for drivers over the age of 21, 0.04% for commercial drivers. If the police stop you because they suspect you are driving over the legal limit, all licensed drivers are assumed to have consented to taking a breathalyzer test, which is known as Implied Consent Law. If you refuse to take a breathalyzer, you will automatically have your license suspended for a year and, if you are taken to a hospital, an officer can request a blood alcohol content (BAC) test be administered.
Can’t Believe I Passed the Breathalyzer – Am I Off the Hook?
If you decide to take the breathalyzer and pass, or refuse to take a breathalyzer and are not given a blood test, it may not be the end of it. A breathalyzer is just one of many pieces of evidence that can be used to prove Illinois DUI. An officer may also submit his or her observations, statements from others, the results of a field sobriety test, and even car cam video to try to prove that you were impaired.
Failing a Breathalyzer – What Happens Next?
If you take the breathalyzer and fail, but it is your first DUI, an experienced DUI lawyer may be able to file a petition to rescind the Statutory Summary Suspension of your license, typically a 6 month suspension. Just because you fail a breathalyzer does not mean you will be convicted. An experienced Illinois DUI lawyer will likely employ more than one strategy to fight the charges you face which may include arguments pertaining to the legality or the stop itself, faulty test results, incorrectly administered testing and more. If a follow up blood test was taken within a specified time period of the stop, it may be used to refute the results of a breathalyzer or other evidence being used to prosecute a DUI.
Contact an Experienced DUI Lawyer in Libertyville
Because DUI’s can result in serious legal and employment consequences, the best advice is to seek the help of an experienced DUI attorney whether it is your first or subsequent offense. The dismissal of charges is the first line of defense and an effective DUI attorney will aggressively seek to have all charges dropped or, alternatively, pursue a reduction in charges to reduce immediate and future consequences. If you have been charged with Illinois DUI, contact Libertyville DUI attorney Ronald L. Bell & Associates for help. Ron has been recognized as “10 Best in Client Satisfaction” by the American Institute of DUI/DWI attorneys and has over 30 years of experience defending against charges of Illinois DUI. Call us today 847-495-6000.