Do you have to take a breathalyzer in Chicago?

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in Chicago. Law enforcement officers may request you to take a breathalyzer in Chicago if they suspect you have been driving under the influence.

Refusing the field sobriety test can result in DUI criminal charges, heavy fines, jail time, and license suspension. It is recommended to take the breathalyzer test if pulled over for suspected DUI. If you refuse, the police officer can obtain a search warrant for your blood alcohol level or urine sample. Follow traffic laws and avoid drinking and driving in Chicago to prevent penalties.

Chicago Traffic Lawyers offer initial consultations and legal advice from experienced DUI attorneys for individuals seeking guidance on their rights.

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What is Implied Consent?

The implied consent law in Illinois requires that all drivers should submit to a blood alcohol level chemical analysis, breathalyzer test, or field sobriety test if they are suspected of driving under the influence. This law is meant to protect other drivers from potential harm or injury that could be caused by people driving while intoxicated.

Refusal of a sobriety test comes with consequences; if someone decides not to take the last and thereby revoke their implied consent, they may receive a statutory summary suspension of their license or it may be revoked. 

a breathalyzer sitting next to a couple glasses of alcohol

The aim of this stringent measure is twofold; firstly, it is intended to discourage citizens from driving under the influence in the first place, as well as punish those who ignore the outcome of such tests. Implied consent laws allow officers to better assess and determine whether drivers are impaired and protect road safety. Additionally, it forces individuals to think twice before taking part in dangerous behaviors while driving and operates as a deterrent against drinking and driving.

The Difference Between Preliminary and Evidentiary Breath Tests

Preliminary breath tests are used by law enforcement during a DUI stop to determine if a driver is impaired. These tests are not calibrated or certified like the evidentiary breath sample test taken at the police station, but they can give the officer probable cause to make an arrest. In the case of refusing to take a preliminary breath test, there is no legal consequence. However, probably, an officer will still arrest for reasonable suspicion of DUI for being above the legal limit blood alcohol concentration.

Learn More: Read More About Illinois Blood Alcohol Concentration Laws Here!

Evidentiary breath tests are taken at the police station and the results can be entered as evidence in a trial. Refusal of this type of test has considerable legal penalties, including administrative license suspension and increased fines for conviction if you are found guilty in court. Therefore, it is important to understand your rights and the consequences of submitting or refusing these two types of tests when interacting with law enforcement officers during a DUI stop.

What are the Consequences of Refusing a Breath Test During a DUI Stop in Illinois?

The consequences of refusing to take a breathalyzer test can be costly and time-consuming. In most states, if you are pulled over for suspected drunk driving, you will have the option of taking a breathalyzer test or refusing. If you refuse the test, then you will face immediate legal issues.

a man refusing to take a breathalyzer in Chicago

For example, in Illinois, refusal to take the test leads to automatic suspension of your license for some time even if you were sober at the time of the arrest. This leaves many individuals without a way to drive legally while they await their trial hearing and verdict.

Beyond these legal ramifications, refusing a breathalyzer may leave an individual open to further scrutiny by law enforcement or the judge presiding over their case. A prosecutor can argue that someone refused to take a test because they knew their blood alcohol content was above the legal limit or use other evidence to try and secure a conviction despite the lack of an official BAC reading.

While there may be advantages in some cases, it is ultimately better not to refuse such chemical tests as it may not only lead to harsher penalties after a DUI but also render any evidence which would help prove one’s innocence null and void.

The Impact of Refusing a Breath Test on Your Case

After a DUI, it is critical to understand the consequences of your decisions. One key decision is whether or not to submit to a breathalyzer test. While it may seem like an easy choice, refusing to take the test can have serious implications for your case and outcome.

a man blowing into a breathalyzer in Chicago

While refusing the test may result in a longer suspension, this route will be preferable if you believe that you will not pass the test. Although it can be quite tempting to take the test to receive a definitive answer, you should remember that taking the test makes it much easier for prosecutors to prove intoxication in court. It gives them an exact number into which they can compare against your legal limit—and if your BAC level exceeds that limit, then there is no other course of action other than finding you guilty.

Additionally, unless there are outside factors affecting breath results such as health conditions or using mouthwash, even if you register a clean reading on the breathalyzer, officers may still arrest and charge you with DUI because they feel that your behavior during the horizontal gaze nystagmus and one-legged stand tests demonstrated intoxication or impairment.

Reach Out to Our Chicago Traffic Lawyer Today for Your DUI Case!

If facing a drunk driving charge, it is recommended to seek the services of an experienced DUI law firm such as Chicago Traffic Lawyers promptly. The attorneys can evaluate the case and decide on the most effective approach. They may challenge breath tests or traffic stop reasoning, and attempt to minimize or dismiss the charges.

Chicago Traffic Lawyers can increase your chances of acquittal or reduced charges for a DUI. Legal representation is crucial in fighting such charges. Many lawyers offer free consultations and payment plans. If you can’t afford large fines, this is worth considering. Consulting with a qualified professional is essential if accused of a DUI in Illinois.

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