Implied Consent: What it Really Means and Requires of You
As a licensed Illinois driver, you are undoubtedly familiar with the concept of implied consent. This is your agreement to submit to a chemical test to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC) or the presence of any other substances when asked to do so by law enforcement. The results of this test can be used to support a charge of driving under the influence (DUI).
Implied consent is more nuanced than it can initially appear to be. Most importantly, remember that providing a positive sample does not mean you cannot fight the charge later.
Implied consent means you agree to provide a blood, breath or urine sample to determine your BAC
The most common way drivers’ BACs are measured is with a Breathalyzer, an electronic device that measures the percentage of alcohol in the subject’s blood through a sample of his or her breath. Other ways to determine BAC are blood and urine tests. Under Illinois’ implied consent law, you are required to comply with any of these requests.
You Are Not Required to Complete a Field Sobriety Test
Unlike BAC tests, you are not required to complete a field sobriety test. Often, this involves walking a straight line, standing on one leg, and participating in the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. These tests are not scientifically proven to show a driver’s BAC level and, in many cases, can result in false positives.
If you are asked to complete a field sobriety test, you have the right to politely refuse. You also do not have to answer an officer’s questions about whether you have been drinking, where you are headed, or where you are driving from during a traffic stop.
Refusing a BAC Test Has Penalties
In Illinois, refusing to undergo a breath, blood, or urine test will result in a driver’s license suspension, regardless of whether you were actually impaired when you were asked for the sample. For a first time offense, the suspension lasts one year. For a second or subsequent offense, the suspension period is three years.
Implied Consent Does Not Mean You Cannot Defend Your Case Against the Charge
Do not assume that your test result showing a BAC over the legal limit automatically means you will be convicted of DUI. There are many reasons why the court might not be able to find you guilty, such as an improperly calibrated testing device or a violation of your civil rights at the time of your arrest. Talk to your lawyer about your defense options—you might have more than you realize.
Work with an Experienced Naperville DUI Lawyer
If you have been charged with DUI, you have the right to defend your case against the charge. Give your case its best chance possible of resulting in a lowered or dismissed charge by working with an experienced Naperville DUI lawyer. Contact our team at Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC today to set up your initial consultation in our office.