It is very scary to see the lights of a police car and hear the siren any time you are on the road. When the officer approaches your window and starts asking questions, it is natural to be nervous. Law enforcement officers are often overzealous when they are trying to make an arrest, and they may say you are legally obligated to perform certain tasks. One of these might be submitting to a breathalyzer test. So, can you refuse the breathalyzer test? You can, but there are consequences you may face. Regardless of the choice that you make at the stop, an experienced DUI lawyer can help with your case.
The law in Illinois states that all motorists have given implied consent to blood alcohol content (BAC) testing every time they get behind the wheel. However, this law only applies when you have been arrested for a DUI. This means that until the officer arrests you on suspicion of a DUI, you are under no obligation to submit to a breathalyzer test. Regardless of what the police officer says, they cannot force you to take the test unless you have been arrested. Even then, no one can physically force you to take the test, but there are consequences if you refuse.
Even if you refuse to take the breathalyzer before you are arrested, it will likely only make the officer more determined to make the arrest. They will try harder to find probable cause, such as listening for slurred speech and looking for other visible signs of impairment.
If an officer arrests you and you still refuse to take the breathalyzer test, you will face a driver’s license suspension of one year if it is your first offense. If you have refused to take the breathalyzer in the last five years, you will face a driver’s license suspension of three years. However, if you take the breathalyzer and blow over the legal limit of 0.08 percent, your driver’s license is still suspended for six months for the first offense and one year for subsequent offenses.
It is difficult to know whether you should take the breathalyzer, but it is important to know that the results can be challenged in court. A DUI lawyer will rely on expert witnesses that can attest to the fact that these test results are often inaccurate. The devices used for the breathalyzer are not always calibrated properly and officers do not always administer these tests properly. A lawyer will use these arguments and more to defend your case and get your charges dismissed.
Regardless of whether you took a breathalyzer test or not after being pulled over, it is critical that you call our skilled Arlington Heights, IL DUI lawyer after an arrest. Criminal defense attorney, Scott F. Anderson, knows how to defend against these charges to give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us today at 847-253-3400 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation so we can review your case.
Client accused of burglary was acquitted due to our skillful cross examination of eye witness identification.
Client accused of causing the death of another while driving under the influence - Acquitted.
Client accused of first degree murder - Acquitted.
Client accused of embezzlement - Charges never filed.
Hundreds of Secretary of State hearings for Drivers License Reinstatement - Won.