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Illinois’ Implied Consent to the Breathalyzer

Posted on in DUI Defense

DuPage County DUI defense attorney, implied consent, breathalyzerWhen a person has been drinking, the effect that the alcohol has on the individual is determined by the amount of alcohol consumed and the rate at which the the body absorbs the alcohol. In general, it takes about one hour for the body to metabolize one alcoholic beverage. 

One frequently asked question centers around whether or not drivers must submit to a breathalyzer—a tool that measures the amount of alcohol in a sample of breath, known as the blood alcohol content (BAC)—during a DUI traffic stop. The following information may prove beneficial if you find yourself involved in a DUI traffic stop.

Illinois Implied Consent

When you applied and received your Illinois driver’s license, you signed and agreed to submit to blood, breath, or chemical testing under appropriate circumstances. The Illinois Implied Consent Law says that if you are in physical control of a vehicle, you agree to submit a sample to an Illinois officer if he or she has probable cause to arrest you. This test will not only check for alcohol but also for drugs or other prohibited compounds that cause impairment. 

Explained in Other Words

The Illinois Implied Consent Law is only applicable after being placed under arrest. If you are pulled over, the officer will likely request that you submit to a breathalyzer. However, you do not have to agree just because you were pulled over because, at this point, you are not formally under arrest.

The officer must have probable cause to make an arrest. Legally, he or she should have had probable cause even before making the stop. Once under arrest, the police must wait a minimum of 20 minutes to administer a test. Consider the following points:

  • You need not be drunk; intoxication from any substance qualifies;
  • You do not need to have been driving. Sleeping in the front seat with keys in hand implies that you had the ability to drive; and
  • If you are unconscious, you cannot decline testing and officers can conduct a blood test after an arrest.

Get Legal Help

If you face charges of DUI, it is important to remember that a lot more is at stake than just a citation and a slap on the wrist. You face insurance rate hikes, potential loss of licensure, and negative impacts on employment opportunities. You do not have to accept whatever deal they offer or plead guilty because of an unfavorable breathalyzer result. Contact a DuPage County, IL DUI defense attorney by calling McMahon Law Offices today at 630-953-4400 to schedule you free and confidential initial consultation. 




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