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Oak Brook DUI defense lawyerOne of the most common questions asked about driving under the influence (DUI) is this: If you are arrested for DUI, should you submit to a breathalyzer test at the police station or refuse to blow?

As you will see, this is a difficult question to answer. Some experts argue that the less evidence you give the prosecution, the better; in other words, refuse the test if there is any chance you are over the legal limit. Others argue that it makes sense to take the test because, if you are below the legal limit, you could get the DUI charge dismissed altogether.

The purpose of this article is simply to help you understand the consequences of taking versus refusing a post-arrest breathalyzer test. This test is also referred to as an evidentiary test because the device and procedures are considered accurate enough to be used as evidence in court.

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Illinois DUI defense lawyerWhen the police see someone driving erratically, they often jump to the conclusion that the person must be driving drunk or high. In such cases, a police officer may be predisposed to find reasons to request a breathalyzer test and make a DUI arrest. By the time they are done with you, you may feel like you have already been convicted. But breathalyzer tests can be wrong and there are many ways to challenge the results.

Reasons a Breathalyzer Result Could Be Wrong

You will want to let your attorney know about any possible grounds on which the breathalyzer result could be challenged. Here are some examples.  

Waiting period. To ensure that you have not consumed anything that could cause a false reading, the police are supposed to observe you for 20 minutes prior to running an evidentiary breathalyzer test (the one done at the police station). Police procedural error is a common DUI defense strategy.

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IL DUI lawyerWhen a police officer suspects a driver of DUI, the officer has to gather sufficient evidence to support that suspicion. If the officer does not build a strong enough case, the driver cannot be charged with and eventually convicted of DUI.

What kind of evidence are we talking about? There are four kinds of evidence that can be used to support a DUI conviction. Specific rules apply to each type of evidence, including whether or not a driver can refuse to participate and what happens if the driver refuses.

1. Law Enforcement Observations

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Illinois DUI lawyerA drink or two of alcohol can be a great way to spend time with family and friends. In order to ensure the best quality of life possible, it is best to decide how to safely navigate traveling from the social gathering back home. If caught drinking and driving, the person affected may face very serious consequences, especially if he or she fails to submit to a chemical field sobriety test. If the person actually fails a field sobriety test, once submitted, then he or she may face charges as well.

Consequences of Refusing to Submit to Chemical Testing

Refusing to submit to a field sobriety test or chemical testing can end in unwanted consequences. If the person commits a first offense of refusing to submit, then he or she will lose driving privileges for one year. However, the offender may be eligible for driving relief and will be given a Monitoring Device Driving Permit. Once the person is issued the MDDP, then he or she will only be allowed to operate vehicles with the Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device installed, unless exempted by employment, and the offender must comply with all MDDP rules and pay all BAIID fees.

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Posted on in DUI Defense

Illinois drunk driving lawyerDriving under the influence, or DUI is defined as the act of operating a vehicle after the use of alcohol. In Illinois, the legal blood alcohol content, or BAC, is 0.08. If a person has a blood alcohol content above 0.08, then he or she will need to participate in a chemical test typically administered by the police.

2015 DUI Statistics

The blood alcohol content is based on the ratio of alcohol to blood or breath. An individual with less than a BAC of 0.08 may still be convicted of DUI if there is more evidence showing the driver’s impairment when operating a vehicle.

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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

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