One of the tools that the state of Illinois uses to find and deter those who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is by conducting sobriety checkpoints. The Supreme Court of the United States has held that sobriety checkpoints do not inherently violate any constitutional rights, as long as they are conducted in a legal manner. In Illinois, this means the time, date and location of the sobriety checkpoint should be announced to the public prior to it taking place and signs and/or lights should be used to designate the checkpoints. Being pulled over for DUI can have a significant impact on your life, which is why it is important to understand that you do have rights when you are stopped at a sobriety checkpoint in Illinois.
The first thing you should understand is that you are not required to go through the sobriety checkpoint. Police officers are required to clearly mark DUI checkpoints and make them visible to drivers. If you see a DUI checkpoint coming up and you do not wish to go through it, you are legally permitted to avoid the checkpoint, as long as you can do so safely without breaking any laws. However, you should be aware that nearby officers may be watching for drivers who avoid the checkpoint and may pull you over for doing so.
One of the first things an officer does after pulling you over is try to gather probable cause for an arrest. Just like any other traffic stop, you have the right to remain silent. The only information and documents you are legally required to furnish when asked is your driver’s license, your vehicle registration and your proof of insurance. Probable cause can also be established by sight or smell, so you can choose to keep your windows rolled up and refuse to speak with the officer, however, you must also understand that if the officer requests that you step out of the vehicle, you must adhere to the order.
If the officer suspects that you are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, he or she may request that you perform one or more field sobriety tests. These are also a way that the officers can gather probable cause for arrest, though you are not legally required to perform these field sobriety tests if asked. You have the right to refuse the tests, however, you may face other consequences as a result.
You also have the legal right to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test. If the officer asks you to submit to the test prior to a ticket or an arrest and you refuse, you will not face any consequences for the refusal. If you refuse a chemical test after you are arrested, you face an administrative driver’s license suspension of at least one year.
If you have been charged with a DUI or related offense, you need to speak with an Arlington Heights, IL DUI defense attorney right away - your future depends on it. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law has represented clients in a variety of DUI situations and can help you protect your future. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 847-253-3400.
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.