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Can you refuse a breathalyzer in Illinois?

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2023 | DUI

Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents throughout the U.S. Thus, if the police have reasonable suspicion that you are driving under influence, they will pull you over for further investigation. 

Part of the police investigation during an Illinois DUI stop may involve the request to take a chemical test. This test is meant to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) level. If the test results indicate that your BAC level exceeds the legal limit, you may be charged with drunk driving. But should you take the chemical test?

Illinois is an implied consent state

During the DUI stop, the police will ask you to take the breathalyzer test. This test can be used as evidence should you go to trial. This is because Illinois applies a doctrine known as implied consent. 

By obtaining a driver’s license in Illinois, you are legally implicitly indicating that you consent to take a chemical test if the police ask that you take one. While you may decline to take the breathalyzer test, you need to understand that your refusal may come with a range of consequences like an automatic suspension of your driver’s license.

It’s also important to understand that your charges will not go away just because you did not take the chemical test. The prosecution can still rely on other evidence like the police report to secure your conviction. Besides, you may have a difficult time convincing the court that you were not indeed drunk.

Protecting your rights

If you are charged with drunk driving, you need to understand your legal options and obligations. Learning more about Illinois DUI laws can help you properly defend yourself following a DUI charge.