Breathalyzer Test Refusal
Implied Consent in Illinois
A person operating a motor vehicle on public highways in Illinois is deemed to have given consent to chemical testing for alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicating compounds in connection with a DUI arrest.
Of course, people can and do refuse to take breathalyzer tests.
The refusal to submit to a properly requested breath, blood, or urine test results in an automatic one-year driver’s license suspension. In addition, although it is not common practice, the arresting officer has the option of seeking a warrant to procure a blood sample.
Challenging the Breathalyzer Refusal Driver’s License Suspension
The summary driver’s license suspension for breathalyzer refusal is automatic, and takes effect on the 46th day following notice. Although you have 90 days in which to request a court hearing on the suspension, having requested a hearing will not prevent the suspension from taking effect. Thus, it is generally in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible after refusing a breath test.
The grounds for challenging a suspension resulting from a breathalyzer test refusal are very specific. For example, the suspension may be rescinded if there were not sufficient grounds to believe that you were operating a vehicle while intoxicated at the time of the arrest, if you were incapable of refusing, or if the officer failed to advise you of the consequences of refusal.
The fact that Illinois law makes driver’s license suspension automatic after a breathalyzer refusal doesn’t eliminate your rights. If you’re facing suspension for a chemical test refusal, contact our offices today to learn more about how you may be able to challenge the suspension and protect your driving privileges.
Evidence of Refusal in a DUI Case
Although refusing a breathalyzer test eliminates one possible piece of evidence for the prosecution, the lack of chemical tests results will not prevent the prosecutor from pursuing DUI charges. There may be additional evidence of driving under the influence, including admissions made during the stop, field sobriety test results and the officer’s observations.
In addition, the fact that you refused the breath test can be introduced as evidence against you at trial.
Defenses in Breathalyzer Refusal DUI Cases
While the driver’s license suspension associated with a breathalyzer test failure or refusal is automatic, a DUI conviction is not. The burden is on the prosecution to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, and there are several possible defenses to a DUI charge in Illinois.
For example, the officer may not have had sufficient grounds for the stop. Or, there may simply be inadequate evidence, in the absence of chemical test results.
If you’ve received notice of a driver’s license suspension or you’ve been charged with DUI after a breathalyzer refusal, get the help and advice you need today. A DUI conviction can be very costly. With possible jail time, probation, driver’s license suspension, fines, increased insurance costs and possible employment limitations on the line, you can’t afford to take chances.
Fill out the contact form on this site or call 309-752-8500 right now and schedule a free consultation to get the information you need to protect your future.