Chicago, IL– If you are pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving, would you agree to a breathalyzer or refuse to take the test? If you said “Yes” to refusing a breathalyzer, why? Do think it will allow you to avoid being arrested or charged with a DUI? Many drivers do, but that isn’t the case. There are some troubling consequences associated with refusing a breathalyzer in Chicago that USAttorneys thinks you should familiarize yourself with before deciding to say refuse.
Sometimes refusing a breathalyzer can work in your favor, but that isn’t true for all Illinois DUI cases and can lead severe consequences. Like most states, Illinois has an implied consent law in regards to impaired driving. That law states that all motorists must comply with an officer and agree to breath, blood or chemical tests if asked by authorities; it’s a condition of your driver’s license. An officer can’t force to take a sobriety test unless you present an immediate danger to yourself or others.
Refusing any of sobriety tests has immediate consequences in Illinois. For one, your driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum of one year with no possibility of getting your license back. If you are charged with a second refusal, your license will be suspended for three years.
Refusing a breath test does not guarantee you will not be charged with a DUI. Sometimes prosecutors will pursue a DUI in addition to a refusal because they see your refusal as evidence of guilt. But there are cases in which you will be better off with a refusal charge than a DUI especially if it is a repeat offense or your arrest involved aggravating circumstances, such as high blood alcohol concentration (BAC). For instance, if your BAC exceeds 0.15, you face enhanced penalties and fines that will be more severe than the penalties for a refusal.
There is no cut and dry answer to the question: Do I refuse a breathalyzer? The biggest downfall is the fact that the consequences are immediate and will impact you even if you challenge your charges. Regrettably, you have to decide whether to submit to a breathalyzer or refuse on the spot. Whatever option you choose at that moment, once you get the opportunity, USAttorneys recommends you get a DUI lawyer’s advice.
Whether you are charged with refusal or a DUI, you need to consult with a DUI lawyer near your Chicago location. USAttorneys can connect you with a DUI lawyer to build your defense and negate some of the consequences you face. We recommend you set up a case evaluation as soon after your arrest as possible so that you make the best decision about your defense.
If you are charged with a refusal or a DUI, you need to speak with a DUI attorney in Illinois to discuss the defense strategies.