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What Happens When a Driver Refuses a Breathalyzer Test?

Posted on in DUI Defense

refusing a BAC test in Illinois, Chicago DUI defense attorneyWhen it comes to the subject of DUI, the consequences of getting behind the wheel intoxicated are never easy to face, especially when they directly affect someone you know personally. The mere prospect of being pulled over under suspicion for driving while intoxicated is an uncomfortable scenario to ponder, but it is a very real reality for many people. And, it is a crime that has the power to alter the quality of your life severely.

The Moments After You are Pulled Over

So, what actually happens when you are pulled over for suspicion of DUI? Are the events that unfold as harsh or as scary as we hear they are? The moment an officer pulls you over, they require you to present your license, registration, and proof of insurance, and you are then asked to submit to a field sobriety test if the officer believes you have been drinking.

If the officer has probable cause during the test, he or she can then place you under arrest and escort you to jail. At that point, you may be asked again to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test, and any license restrictions or suspensions are determined at that time.

What Happens if You Refuse the Breathalyzer?

Just because you are repeatedly asked to submit to chemical testing upon your arrest does not mean you have to do so. Some drivers choose to refuse the BAC test entirely. In fact, many criminal defense attorneys recommend not taking a BAC test, because the outcome of a failed test (BAC of 0.08% or higher) almost always deems you guilty of the crime, making it much more difficult to defend your case.

When you refuse a breathalyzer test, your driving privileges are automatically suspended for twelve months. The penalty for a second or subsequent offense is a suspension of three years. Driving privilege suspension does not replace other applicable criminal penalties, however.

Although license revocation is the initial automatic penalty, it is completely separate from the criminal charge, which is prosecuted in a court of law. Other penalties such as fines and jail time may apply, depending on the circumstances of the arrest.

Speak with Our DUI Defense Lawyers

You have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test in the event you are accused of drinking and driving. By refusing to submit to the test, you may be protecting yourself when it comes time to present your case in court. To gain a better understanding of your rights and what you should do if you choose to refuse a BAC test, speak with a reputable Chicago DUI defense attorney today. Call the Luisi Legal Group at 773-276-5541 for a free initial consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501.1

http://www.isp.state.il.us/traffic/drnkdriving.cfm

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

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