In the state of Illinois, police can request that you take a breath test to determine your level of intoxication when they pull you over for DUI. But what happens if you refuse?
What Happens if You Refuse a Breath Test at a DUI Stop in Illinois?
It is possible to refuse to take a breath test in the state of Illinois when you’re pulled over for suspected drinking and driving. However, you need to know that your license will be suspended for a year if you refuse. And if you submit to the test and it says your alcohol level is at 0.08 or higher, you’ll lose your license for six months.
Related: DUI in Illinois
But that doesn’t necessarily make this a no-brainer. Some DUI defense attorneys suggest that you refuse the test anyway. That’s because if you refuse a breath test when a police officer pulls you over on suspicion of DUI, the officer will arrest you and take you to jail, where you’ll be subjected to a blood test or urine test. However, booking people into jail takes time, just like sobering up does.
The bottom line is that every situation is different, so it’s not a good practice for an attorney to say that you should always refuse to take a breath test. Naturally, if you are certain that you’re well within the legal limits (such as when you’ve had only one drink and it’s been more than two hours), you should go ahead and take the breath test to show the officer that you aren’t intoxicated. However, in some cases, people find it beneficial to refuse the breath test and wait to be tested in jail, when their bodies have processed the alcohol that they’ve consumed.
Without knowing your specific circumstances, the only responsible answer to whether or not you should refuse a breath test is “it depends.” If you refuse, you’ll lose your license. However, your attorney may be able to challenge the license suspension in court. It’s also worth noting that if your blood alcohol concentration is higher than the legal limit, you’ll lose your license and face jail time (as well as the possibility of hefty fines).
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