We have all seen police arrests on popular television shows, but many people have never faced arrest personally. Have you ever thought about what you would do if you are pulled over by a police officer under suspicions that you are driving under the influence of alcohol or marijuana? What if you know you have not had any alcohol or marijuana? Can you refuse to allow the police to take a blood or urine sample? Can you refuse a breathalyzer test in Illinois? We will delve into these issues below.
Illinois’ Implied Consent Law
When you obtain an Illinois driver's license, you are agreeing that if you are pulled over while driving, you will consent to a chemical test. A chemical test is a test administered by an Illinois police officer who suspects you of being guilty of a DUI. The results of the chemical test can and often will be used against you by the prosecution. Illinois recently legalized recreational marijuana use, so the number of those pulled over on suspicion of driving while impaired may increase.
The Consequences of Refusal to Complete Field Sobriety Tests
On July 10, 2019, an Illinois driver caused a head-on collision after erratically driving a rental car. Thankfully there were no injuries. After the collision, the suspect tried to run away from the scene. He agreed to comply with the police and engage in field sobriety tests, but ended up refusing to finish them. The police cited the man with two moving vehicle violations and for refusing to take a chemical test. When the man received an Illinois driver's license, he gave implied consent to a chemical blood test if he was suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If you refuse a chemical test in Illinois and you already have at least one DUI conviction, the state will suspend your driver's license. The duration of the license suspension depends on whether or not you are a first-time DUI offender. If you have had a DUI conviction in the previous five years, you will face a six to 12-month license suspension for a failure to test or refusal to test. If you have multiple DUI convictions within the past five years, the state could suspend your license for up to three years. This can happen regardless of the outcome in the criminal case and since this is a civil matter, you are NOT entitled to the representation of a public defender in a licensure suspension.
If You Refused a Chemical Blood Test in Illinois, We can Help You
The attorneys at Glasgow & Olsson know Illinois DUI law inside and out. Over the years, we have represented tens of thousands of cases involving DUI. The law is always changing, especially now that recreational marijuana is legal in Illinois. The attorneys of Glasgow & Olsson use our knowledge of the finer points of DUI legislation and enforcement to help you fight for the best outcome possible in your case.
The skilled Cook County refusing a blood or alcohol test attorneys at Glasgow & Olsson have a wealth of experience fighting DUI charges. To contact us, please fill out our online form for an initial consultation.
(image courtesy of Thomas Picauly)