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IL DUI lawyerGetting pulled over by a police officer while you are driving can be a stressful ordeal. However, even if you believe the police officer made a mistake by making a traffic stop, it is important to remain calm and not lose your temper. If you do not keep your composure, the situation could end up escalating and instead of a potential traffic violation, you could be facing criminal charges.

Things to Avoid Saying to an Officer During a Traffic Stop

During the traffic stop, the officer will ask you for your license and registration in order to confirm your identity and conduct a background check to make sure there are no outstanding warrants or other issues. Some stops may resolve quickly, while in other situations, it may feel as if the officer is extending the stop unreasonably. No matter what the situation is, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Rude comments - Once the officer has conducted the background check, he or she may also ask you questions, such as where you are driving to or from. You are under no obligation to answer those questions, however, how you choose to answer can make a difference. Although it is not against the law to make a rude comment to a police officer, doing so could cause the officer to become more inclined to find some reason to place you under arrest. Police cannot arrest you simply for making an insulting comment, but they can claim your behavior was uncooperative or created probable cause to search your vehicle.
  • Confessions - Under no circumstances should you confess to a crime when a police officer pulls you over. For example, if a cop stops your vehicle because he or she is suspicious that you were driving under the influence of alcohol, you should not admit to anything. Even if you are guilty of the crime the officer is accusing you of, you should not give any kind of statement to the police until you have spoken with a criminal defense attorney.
  • Breathalyzer tests - If a police officer pulls you over because he or she believes you were driving drunk, you will be asked to take a breathalyzer test to measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). There are a few factors to keep in mind before deciding to submit to that test. Illinois has an implied consent law. When you were issued a driver’s license, your acceptance meant you were consenting to submit to a breathalyzer test if requested to do so by law enforcement. While there is no law that says you must take the test, refusing to do so means an automatic summary suspension of your license, even if you are ultimately found not guilty of DUI in criminal court. A first offense is a loss of license for one year. Second and subsequent refusals are for five years. There is no right or wrong answer on whether a driver should submit to a breathalyzer test and ultimately depends on the circumstances of the traffic stop, whether the driver has been drinking, and whether the driver has any prior DUI convictions.

Contact an Arlington Heights, IL Criminal Lawyer

If you were recently pulled over and arrested by a police officer, you should speak to a Rolling Meadows, IL criminal attorney. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law will assess your case and inform you of your legal options. Call 847-253-3400 today to schedule a free consultation.

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Posted on in DUI

Arlington Heights, IL criminal defense attorney DUI

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.

Implied Consent Laws in the State

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.

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Rolling Meadows, IL DUI defense attorney

One of the most common crimes committed on the roads of Illinois is driving while under the influence (DUI). According to data from the Illinois Secretary of State, there were more than 26,200 drivers arrested for DUI across the state of Illinois in 2019. Being charged with driving while you are impaired can result in serious penalties, such as jail time, driver’s license revocation, and fines. However, certain circumstances can dictate how severe your penalties are, including what your BAC level is. In Illinois, a higher BAC could also mean a more serious sentence. Hiring an Illinois DUI defense lawyer is strongly advised if you are facing any kind of DUI charge.

Illinois DUI Charges and Your BAC

Before you are even arrested, the officer who pulled you over will likely begin to evaluate you to determine if you are intoxicated or impaired in any way. You may be asked to submit to field sobriety tests, which may consist of a walk-and-turn test, one-leg-stand test, or possibly even a preliminary field breathalyzer test. A breathalyzer is an important tool in determining whether or not a person is impaired because it can inform the officer of the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC).

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Arlington Heights, IL DUI defense attorney

When you are pulled over because a police officer suspects that you are driving under the influence (DUI), you will probably be asked to take a breathalyzer test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). In Illinois, you are legally considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol if your BAC is 0.08 percent or above. What you may not know, however, is that you can still actually be arrested and charged with DUI even if your BAC is below the legal limit. The best way to avoid a DUI arrest and conviction is to understand your rights as a citizen of Illinois and avoid putting yourself into risky situations. If you have been arrested for DUI, a skilled criminal defense lawyer can be an invaluable asset.

Alcohol Use Under the Legal Limit

The legal limit anywhere in the United States to be considered intoxicated is 0.08 percent, but that does not mean that you cannot be charged with DUI if your BAC is below that. Illinois law states that a person may not drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle if his or her BAC is 0.08 or more OR if he or she is under the influence of alcohol. This open-ended law allows police officers to use their judgment and determine whether a person is incapable of safely operating a vehicle, regardless of his or her actual BAC.

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Rolling Meadows driving under the influence defense lawyer

The state of Illinois has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country. Even for a first offense of driving while under the influence, you can lose your driving privileges. In fact, through a statutory summary suspension, your driving privileges can be taken away without ever even being convicted of a DUI if you fail or refuse to take a chemical blood alcohol test. If your driving privileges are suspended because of a DUI, you do have options for driving relief during your suspension period. Depending on your circumstances, you can get a monitoring device driving permit (MDDP) or a restricted driving permit (RDP), both of which require the installation and use of a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID). If you lose your driving privileges, here are a few things you should know about BAIIDs:

  1. A BAIID Uses Your Breath to Determine if You Are Sober

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