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Chicago DUI Defense attorneyIf you find yourself arrested for driving under the influence in the state of Illinois, refusing a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) test of any kind can mean severe consequences for you from that very moment. If you have not yet been arrested for DUI, however, refusing a BAC test may offer a few advantages as you move forward with the defense of your case.

You Have Decided to Refuse a Breathalyzer Test. Now What?

Refusing a test before you have been arrested and taken into custody prevents law enforcement from collecting any incriminating evidence against you in a court of law. At this stage, you still have the option to shape the course of your fate in terms of charges and the penalties that accompany them, but how you proceed with the refusal is important.

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Chicago DUI defense attorneyWhen you are pulled over for the suspicion of driving under the influence, you have the right to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test if you wish to do so. There are, however, consequences to this option, just as there are consequences to submitting to the test if you have in fact been consuming alcohol. If you are conflicted as to whether to submit or not, it is helpful to familiarize yourself the penalties associated with both options before you make your decision.

Standard DUI Penalties in the State of Illinois

For starters, if you decide to submit to a breathalyzer test and are found to be over the legal limit, your driving privileges will be automatically suspended for six months for your first offense. The suspension doubles to one year for a second or subsequent test failure. The suspension applies regardless of whether prosecutors push for a conviction on DUI charges. If you are convicted of DUI, you are looking at a combination of the following:

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Skokie DUI Defense attorneyWhen you are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, one of the first challenges you will face is likely to be the officer’s request to submit to field sobriety and breathalyzer tests. If the officer has pulled you over, he has done so because he feels he already has probable cause based on behavior you exhibited on the road.

From that moment on, standard protocol—and Illinois law—allows the officer to ask you to step out of the car (if he deems it necessary) and to ask you to submit to these tests. Although the situation is an intimidating one, especially if you feel you are being falsely accused, you do have the right to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test if you wish. If you do decide to take the test, though, it is important to understand the disadvantages that come with submitting.

Here are three ways submitting to a breathalyzer test can hurt you:

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dui checkpoints illinois, chicago dui defense lawyerIf you are pulled over at any time, for any reason, it is never a fun experience. This is especially true when you are being directed to the side of the road for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). Whether you have in fact been drinking and driving or find yourself falsely accused, the moment you are confronted with the possibility of DUI charges, it is important to understand your rights. This begins with understanding when an officer has the right to pull you over in the first place.

In general, any of the following circumstances allow a police officer the right to direct you to the side of the road:

Highway Checkpoints - Whenever you encounter a checkpoint, you are always required to pull over and comply with an officer's requests. Checkpoints are typically planned ahead of time and are expected to have a strategy in place. For example, police will pull over every car or every other car. The primary purpose of checkpoints is to identify drivers who are operating vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as they are often utilized as a tool in drunk driving deterrence.

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comply with police llinois, Chicago dui lawyerThe outcome of your DUI arrest actually begins before you pull over for the officer who has flagged you down. The moment you see an officer's lights flash behind you, the decisions you make from that point on will set the tone for your entire case. Even if you are guilty of driving under the influence, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to remain respectful and comply with the police, to the best of your ability. However, this does not mean you are required to incriminate yourself.

Here are some common requests you will face from an officer who pulls you over for the suspicion of DUI and how you should handle each one:

Proper pullover - Police want to see you pull your car over quickly, safely, and correctly. You should not delay pulling over to the side of the road; you should comply with the officer’s direction as quickly as possible, so long as you can safely park your vehicle. The sooner you stop and park your car, the better your chances of avoiding unnecessary tension and conflict once the officer approaches you. You want to cooperate from start to finish, and pulling over immediately, when the officer directs you to do so, is the first signal that demonstrates you are taking the matter seriously and that you intend to comply.

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