Tag Archives: breathalyzer

St. Charles criminal defense DUI attorney

In Illinois, it is against the law to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. During a police stop in which an officer suspects that a person was driving under the influence (DUI), breathalyzers or field sobriety tests may be used to estimate a driver’s BAC. However, a police officer cannot force a driver to submit to a breath test or field sobriety test. Technically, Illinois motorists do have the option to refuse the test. However, doing so may result in several negative consequences.    

Understanding “Implied Consent” in Illinois

Many people do not realize it, but they actually give police officers permission to test their blood alcohol content when they choose to drive on Illinois roads. Illinois law states that drivers give “implied consent” to testing for the purpose of determining the amount of alcohol or drugs in their system. Police officers are permitted to request a breath test or other chemical test if there is probable cause to believe that someone who is in “actual physical control” of a vehicle is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a law enforcement officer suspects a motorist of driving while intoxicated, he or she will typically ask the driver to submit to field sobriety tests and/or a breath test. If the driver refuses to take these roadside tests, this refusal may give the officer probable cause to make an arrest. Following the arrest, a driver will be asked to take a breath, blood, or urine test to measure their BAC. The implied consent laws apply to these post-arrest tests, and refusal to submit to this type of testing will result in administrative penalties, in addition to any criminal penalties resulting from a DUI conviction.  

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St. Charles drunk driving defense lawyer

As in every other U.S. state, it is against the law to drive while drunk in Illinois. If a motorist is caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher, he or she can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) and is subject to criminal penalties. Many DUI charges arise after a police officer administers a chemical breath test to determine a driver’s BAC. An officer cannot physically force someone to take a breath test, so technically the driver has the right to refuse this test. However, refusing to submit to chemical BAC testing can result in significant penalties.

Illinois' Implied Consent Law

If a police officer notices a motorist who is driving erratically, drifting between lanes, or otherwise appears intoxicated, he or she has probable cause to pull that driver over. If the driver shows indications of impairment such as slurred speech, red eyes, or the smell of alcohol, the officer may arrest the driver on suspicion of DUI. In order to determine how intoxicated the driver is, the officer may ask him or her to submit to a breathalyzer test or field sobriety tests. If the officer believes that the driver is under the influence, he or she will arrest the driver, and at the police station, the driver will be asked to submit to a chemical blood alcohol test of his or her blood, breath, or urine. Illinois’ implied consent law states that anyone who is in “actual physical control” of a vehicle has given consent to chemical BAC testing.

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DUIWith holiday parties and family gatherings, the holiday season is a popular time to drink. Illinois also sees an increase in intoxicated drivers and accidents involving alcohol during this season. If you are planning on drinking, it is important to take appropriate safety measures to avoid a DUI arrest or conviction. If you have been charged with a DUI, an attorney can help you defend your rights.

Illinois DUI Law

In Illinois, it is illegal for a person to operate a motor vehicle if his or her blood alcohol content is at or above 0.08 percent. Illinois has a zero tolerance law for those under the age of 21. If an underage driver is caught with any amount of alcohol in his or her system, the driver can be charged with a DUI. For drivers of commercial vehicles, such as taxis or trucks, the limit is 0.04 percent.

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DUIThe only contact many people will ever have with the criminal justice system is when they are stopped for a DUI. In Illinois the crime of DUI involves operating a motor vehicle when you are impaired by drugs or alcohol. You can be convicted of DUI even if you were only using your own prescription medicine.

Why the Officer Comes to Your Window

In Illinois you may have an officer approach your car window in two basic situations. The first one is at a DUI checkpoint. Illinois courts have held that DUI checkpoints do not violate driver’s constitutional rights. Officers may pick out cars at random to stop and approach or they may decide to approach you if they see something suspicious.

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