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Arlington Heights DUI defense attorneyBeing pulled over can be scary. Matters become worse when the officer comes to your window and asks you to step out of your car, or requests that you submit to a breathalyzer or chemical test. Do you really have to comply, though? What, exactly, are your rights in this situation? More importantly, what are the potential consequences for refusing to comply? The following explores these questions, and provides you with information on where to find help with your DUI case.

Ownership of a License and Implied Consent

When you applied for your driver’s license, and that application was approved, you gave what is considered “implied consent.” Essentially, this means that you gave consent, at that time, to be tested for impairment if an officer pulls you over or arrests you for suspicion of a DUI. Now, they cannot force you to submit to chemical or breath tests. They can, however, arrest you and suspend your license for failure to submit to chemical or breath testing.

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implied consent, Fourth Amendment, Arlington Heights family law attorneyIn the state of Illinois, just as in most states in this country, when a person gets their driver’s license, there is “implied consent” that the person will submit to testing to gather a sample of their blood, breath, or urine to law enforcement if they have been arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a person refuses to submit to that testing, their licence will be automatically suspended for one year. If it is their second or subsequent refusal, they will automatically have their license suspended for three years. This suspension of driving privileges is separate from the actual driving under the influence (DUI) charge or penalties if they are found guilty. However, a ruling by the Georgia Supreme Court regarding implied consent could have far reaching consequences on every state’s implied consent laws.

The case in question involved a man who was arrested in 2012 and charged with drunk driving. According to court records, the man was not advised of his Miranda rights, but the arresting officer read an implied consent notice and told the man to answer yes or no. The man was then taken to a medical facility where he had blood and urine samples taken.

Ability to Grant Consent?

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Arlington Heights, Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyer, Arlington Heights drunk driving lawyer, drinking and driving, DUI, DUI arrest, DUI attorney, DUI charges, DUI lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyer, illinois dui attorney, refusing a chemical testReports indicate that approximately one-quarter of people pulled over in the U.S. refuse a breathalyzer test if asked. This can have serious consequences, even if you have not been drinking. Illinois driving laws include a clause that allows for a person’s license to be revoked purely on his or her refusal to submit to chemical testing when pulled over. In fact, a person can have his or her license suspended for a full year for refusing a breathalyzer test in Illinois. This is six months longer than if a person submits to a breathalyzer test and is found to have a blood alcohol content above the legal limit.

Recently, a Chicago guitarist was arrested for a drunk driving incident in which he allegedly struck and killed a pedestrian, and had a blood alcohol content that was twice the legal limit. However, when initially questioned, he refused to take a field sobriety test. He finally submitted to a breathalyzer nearly seven hours after the incident while he was in holding.

There are three types of chemical testing to determine sobriety employed by the state of Illinois—breath, urine and blood. According to DrivingUniversity.com, this is because in Illinois a statute of "implied consent" applies. By getting into your car and starting the ignition after you have been drinking, you automatically consent to a chemical test for alcohol in the event that you are asked. This is known as a "No Refusal" law. According to WGEM.com, there are currently nine states, Illinois included, that have No Refusal laws in place.

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