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Three Possible Approaches to Refusing a Breathalyzer Test

Posted on in DUI Defense

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.

Depending on the circumstances that surround your potential arrest, you may be within your right to refuse. Here are examples of how some defendants choose to approach the refusal of a breathalyzer test:

“Breath tests can be unreliable, therefore I do not feel comfortable taking the test.”

Whether or not breathalyzers are always reliable has been widely debated. Some critics argue they can over-report true alcohol levels or that they are inaccurate altogether, while other experts insist they are consistently foolproof. Drivers pulled over for the suspicion of operating under the influence sometimes use the stance that they are uncertain about the accuracy of the test; therefore, they choose to decline the request to submit to one. Should you choose this avenue, the key is to remain polite, calm, and cooperative. Arguing, exhibiting a defiant demeanor, or acting aggressively when refusing a BAC test will not help your case.

“I understand my rights and would like to speak with an attorney, please.”

Given your constitutional right to remain silent at the scene of an arrest, it is understandable why some drivers accused of DUI choose to decline to speak altogether, including any discussion regarding breathalyzer tests. While it is true you have the right to refrain from discussing your impending arrest with law enforcement, you will at least need to request to speak with an attorney right away if you decide to decline a BAC test and remain silent. A qualified DUI lawyer has the knowledge and necessary resources to guide you through the refusal and the steps that will follow.

“I’ve heard other people have refused the test, so I would like to refuse too.”

In a court of law, defendants sometimes claim the reason they chose to refuse a BAC test is because they have heard stories via news articles and other media sources that others have refused to submit following a DUI stop, so they too believed they were entitled to the same liberty. This stance is at times considered an admissible “state of mind” exception in a court of law, meaning it may have the power to help your defense. If you choose to express this train of thought the minute you are pulled over under suspicion of DUI, be sure to request to speak with a professional attorney immediately afterward to avoid saying anything that may further hurt your case.

There are countless ways you can choose to decline a breathalyzer test, but one thing is certain: The circumstances surrounding your DUI incident can shape the outcome of your overall case significantly. In order to ensure you are within your right to refuse and that you do so properly, consult with an experienced Chicago DUI defense lawyer the moment you are accused of driving under the influence. Call the Luisi Legal Group today at 773-276-5541 to schedule a personal consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2016/06/27/271818.htm

https://www.isba.org/sections/trafficlaw/newsletter/2011/03/defendingduirefusalsinjurytrialcasespracticaltips

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/15/nyregion/15drunk.html

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