Blog

1231 N. Ashland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622

Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in refusing a BAC test

Chicago DUI defense lawyersYou can probably imagine what it feels like to be pulled over by the police on a night where you have had a few drinks, even if it has never happened to you before. The lights flash behind you and your heart sinks. By the time the officer is at your window, you are probably extremely nervous, but you want to make this go as smooth as possible so that you get home quickly. As expected, the officer asks if you have been drinking, and you honestly answer that you had a couple earlier. Then, the officer asks if you will take a breathalyzer test. Can you refuse?

Understanding the Law

According to Illinois law, drivers give their implied consent to submit to blood alcohol content (BAC) testing by operating a motor vehicle on the streets and roadways of the state. There is an important caveat, however. Implied consent only refers to testing that is conducted incident to an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI). This means that you are under no obligation whatsoever to take a BAC test unless and until you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI. Regardless of what the officer tells you, if you have not been arrested, you cannot be forced to take a breathalyzer.

...

Chicago criminal defense attorneyThe moment a driver is pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, he or she is often faced with a series of field and sobriety tests—including blood-alcohol content (BAC) tests—that ultimately help determine their fate in a court of law. Whatever the outcome, the driver found guilty of a DUI offense faces everything from the loss of driving privileges and serious prison time to hefty fines and community service. Depending on the severity of the conviction, the driver’s life can be affected for months, and even years following the DUI arrest.

The Science Behind the Breathalyzer

When so much rests on the results of sobriety tests, it is understandable that the reliability of such tests are questioned and challenged. So, just how reliable are breathalyzers? How do they work, and can they be trusted? In short, a breathalyzer is a modified infrared radiation spectrometer. That is a fancy term for a device that measures the absorption of organic compounds in the blood stream - in this case, alcohol. When you blow into a breathalyzer, the alcohol that is in your blood transfers through to your breath, and the device calibrates to read the concentration of alcohol in your system.

...

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.

...
Illinois State Bar Association American Bar Association Hispanic Lawyer Association of Illinois Super Lawyers
Back to Top