If you’re like many people, you’ve heard that you should refuse a breath test when a cop pulls you over for DUI. But is that solid advice?
Should You Refuse a Breath Test if You’re Pulled Over for DUI?
Here’s the bottom line: Without knowing your situation, we can’t tell you whether you should refuse a breath test when a cop pulls you over for DUI. However, we can tell you what happens if you do refuse:
- You lose your driving privileges for at least a year.
- You will most likely be taken to jail.
- You’ll have to take a blood or urine test while you’re in custody.
- The amount of alcohol in your system may go down while you wait for a blood or urine test.
Here’s why each of these things is important.
#1. You Lose Your Driving Privileges for at Least a Year
Illinois is an “implied consent” state, which means if you use the roads, you’re automatically giving the state your approval for a breath, blood or urine test. If you refuse a breath test on the side of the road, the state will take away your driver’s license for at least a year.
If you’re later found guilty of drunk driving, you could lose your license for a longer period of time.
Related: What happens on a first-offense DUI?
#2. You Will Most Likely Be Taken to Jail
If you refuse a breath test on the side of the road, the police will most likely take you into custody. You’ll be booked into jail and stay there until the police release you. The police may even hold you there until your appearance in court.
#3. You’ll Have to Take a Blood or Urine Test While You’re in Custody
If you refused a breath test, the police will likely take you into custody and order a blood or urine test. (For the record, the police may order these types of chemical tests even if you took a breath test.)
Related: Can you plead not guilty to a DUI?
#4. The Amount of Alcohol in Your System May Go Down While You Wait for a Blood or Urine Test
If you take a breath test and fail, the amount of alcohol in your system will be recorded. If you refuse a breath test, the police may order a blood or urine test. These types of tests can take hours to complete, and during that time, the alcohol in your system may dissipate.
This is important because the amount of alcohol in your system is one of the main factors that prosecutors will look at when deciding what type of sentence to give you if you’re convicted of drunk driving.
Related: Do you lose your CDL if you’re convicted of DUI in Illinois?
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney?
If you’ve been accused of a crime, we may be able to help you – and don’t worry: It’s completely confidential. Call us at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below to schedule your free, private consultation with an experienced and skilled Chicago DUI attorney now.