Police officers often use chemical testing to determine whether a driver has been driving under the influence. Once you get your driver’s license, implied consent laws state that you are now required to submit to field sobriety or chemical testing if you are requested to do so by a police officer. However, you can still refuse to submit to these tests, if you are willing to face the consequences.
What happens if I refuse to take a Breathalyzer?
Breathalyzer test results are often a big part of any drunk driving case. If you submit to a Breathalyzer and your blood concentration level is above the .08 legal limit, you may be charged with a DUI and your license will automatically be suspend for six months. Once your case goes to trial, the prosecutor will typically use the Breath test results to convince the jury to convict you on the DUI charge.
However, by refusing to take the Breathalyzer, you are taking away a key piece of evidence for the prosecution. Without the Breath test results, the prosecutors will have to rely on officer testimony and observations and field sobriety results, if there are any, to build their case against you.
What are the consequences to refusing a Breathalyzer?
Illinois law states that any driver who refuses a Breathalyzer will have their license automatically suspended for one year, if it is their first refusal. A second refusal will have their license suspended for three years.
Basically, taking and failing a breathalyzer test will result in a shorter license suspension than refusing to take the test. It is also important to remember that you can still be charged and convicted of a DUI without submitting to a Breath test. However, if you want a better a chance at avoiding a DUI conviction, refusing a Breath test may be in your best interest.
It can be difficult to know what to do when you are stopped by a cop under suspicion of driving under the influence. A criminal defense attorney can provide you with a strong DUI defense strategy, even if you did submit to a Breath test.