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Should I Refuse Chemical Testing During a DUI Stop? In the state of Illinois, over 26,000 DUI arrests were made throughout 2018 alone. A conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can come with serious legal ramifications, including a Class A misdemeanor charge on your criminal record, significant fines, and temporary loss of driving privileges. Once a driver submits to and fails chemical testing (a driver with a blood alcohol content over 0.08 percent will be deemed intoxicated), it can be incredibly difficult to fight against the charges. So is it wise to refuse chemical testing altogether? Below we will discuss the consequences of refusing chemical testing during the DUI arrest process

The Benefits of Refusing to Test 

The first thing to understand about refusing chemical testing is that it is not a criminal offense. While all licensed drivers in the state of Illinois agree to submit to chemical testing when they are awarded their license, you will not face a criminal charge for refusal. Refusal to submit to chemical testing, which is most commonly administered through a breath test, is an administrative offense that will result in a one-year driver’s license suspension for a first-time offender. While you will temporarily lose your driving privileges and likely be arrested for driving under the influence, you will significantly decrease the likelihood of a conviction. 

After refusing chemical testing, the officer will likely ask you to take part in field sobriety tests. It is important to note that you also have the right to refuse field sobriety testing. Without the evidence of a field sobriety or chemical test, a conviction will only be possible with strong testimony from the officer, surveillance footage, or witness testimony. A failed chemical test, on the other hand, will almost always result in a conviction barring police oversight or negligence. If you choose to refuse to submit to chemical testing, it is important for you to act in a responsible and polite manner. Your actions during the arrest process will become the most significant form of evidence for the prosecution. 


Factors That Can Cause A False Positive Breath TestAfter being charged with a DUI, it is entirely common to feel hopeless. In reality, the arrest is just the first step in the legal process. Through diligent communication with your attorney, you may be able to develop a strategy that can ensure that you avoid a conviction. One of the most common DUI defenses is a false positive breath test. Below, we will examine the most common reasons why a Breathalyzer could mistakenly indicate you are over the legal limit. In the event of a DUI arrest, speak with a legal professional immediately. 

Reasons for a False Positive 

If you are notified that you are over the legal limit of 0.08 blood alcohol content, it may seem like you have no choice but to accept your criminal punishment. In some cases though, a Breathalyzer’s results can show up as positive due to extraneous circumstances, such as:

  1. Medications: In some cases, a Breathalyzer may indicate that a person is intoxicated due to medications that a person has ingested. Most notably, cold and flu medications can cause a jump in a person’s blood alcohol content. In these instances, it is paramount to speak with your attorney immediately. 
  2. Medical Conditions: Unfortunately, some people are falsely accused of driving under the influence due to preexisting medical conditions. For instance, people with diabetes can have high levels of acetone in their breath, which can cause a Breathalyzer reading to show up much higher than the blood alcohol content actually is. In other instances, a medical condition can impact a person’s speech, balance, or mobility, prompting the officer to falsely believe they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 
  3. Types of Food: While somewhat uncommon, the digestion of certain foods can have a serious impact on a person’s ability to pass a breath test. Some foods such as pizza can result in a failed test due to the fermentation of the food. In other cases, ingestion of vinegar can falsely indicate that a person has been consuming alcohol. 

Contact an Oak Brook DUI Defense Lawyer

The ramifications of a DUI conviction can be life-changing. Outside of potential jail time, a conviction can result in significant fines, loss of driving privileges and difficulty securing employment. At McMahon Law Offices, we are prepared to develop a defense strategy that will make a conviction as difficult as possible. A DUI charge is a serious offense, and you deserve the most qualified defense lawyers in the greater Chicago area. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation with a skilled DuPage County DUI defense attorney, call us today at 630-953-4400.  

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