Should You Refuse A Breath Test?

In Illinois, there are two types of Breathalyzer tests. The first is the portable Breathalyzer test, which is inadmissible in any criminal proceeding. The second is the Breathalyzer test administered after you have been arrested and taken to jail. There are many important factors to consider. The most important determination is how much alcohol you consumed before being stopped by the police. How much time has elapsed since your last alcoholic drink? Did you eat any food since your last drink?

These are difficult questions when you are on the spot. It is best to speak with a lawyer before making a decision. At the Law Offices of Johnson & Buh, we help people facing DUI charges in Illinois. Contact us today for a free consultation.

What To Expect During A DUI Stop

At the point the officer requests you take a Breathalyzer, the officer has typically formed the opinion that you are under the influence of alcohol. The officer would have smelled alcohol on your breath, noted that you have slurred speech and requested that you perform field sobriety tests. If you had passed the field sobriety tests, he or she typically would not ask you to take the portable Breathalyzer test. In fact, if you passed the field sobriety tests, you have a strong argument that the officer did not have probable cause to arrest you. If the officer did not have probable cause, the case would be dismissed.

If the officer arrests you, you can expect to be handcuffed and taken to the police station. The officer will read you the warning to motorists and attempt to coerce you into taking the Breathalyzer test. If you do, you may potentially give the police their strongest piece of evidence concerning your arrest. If you take the Breathalyzer and register a .08 percent or greater, your license will be suspended for six months. You will not be able to drive for 30 days of that suspension, but if you are eligible for a MDDP permit, you will be able to drive for the last five months with a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID). In addition, the odds of a DUI conviction rise because of this Breathalyzer result.

However, if you refuse the Breathalyzer, the state will be missing its strongest piece of evidence and you may have a stronger case. Your license may be suspended for one year, with the ability to drive with a BAIID in your vehicle for 11 months.

Learn How We Can Help

To take a breath test is a personal choice for each individual. If you are intoxicated, the best course of action to avoid a DUI conviction is to politely refuse to take any field sobriety tests. Avoid talking as much as possible and refuse all breath tests. Your license will be suspended, but the state has a difficult task in proving that you were under the influence of alcohol beyond a reasonable doubt.

To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, please call 630-492-1893.