Driving is a privilege afforded to many residents all throughout Illinois, but it is one that comes with specific responsibilities. Those convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol may see that privilege revoked, and may even be forced to spend time in jail.
In all states, a person with a blood-alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08% or higher is presumed to be under the influence of alcohol. Under Illinois law, even if a person does not meet the .08% BAC, he may be charged with driving under the influence, as some people are heavily impaired even with a BAC below .08%. However, people who are charged with driving under the influence with a BAC below .08% are not subject to an immediate license suspension.
Under Illinois Law, anyone under the age of 21 with a BAC of less than 0.08%, but still with a detectable amount of alcohol in their system, will be convicted of a DUI and their license will be suspended for a minimum of 3 months. If a minor’s BAC is above 0.08% the suspension is a minimum of 2 years.
Types of Tests Used in Illinois
There are two types of BAC tests in Illinois. A PBT (portable breath test) is used by police officers to determine whether there is probable cause to arrest a person for driving under the influence. When administering this test, the police officers use a small handheld device on the side of the road during a traffic stop. You may refuse to take a PBT and will receive no penalty for doing so. Although the results of the PBT may be used to prove a defendant’s innocence, it may not be used to prove a defendant’s guilt. Therefore the result of this test is not admissible as evidence against the defendant.
It is important to know the difference between the PBT and the Breathalyzer Test. The Breathalyzer Test is the test administered at the police station and is conducted by using a large stationary machine. The results of a Breathalyzer Test may be used as evidence against a defendant.
Understanding the Penalties for Refusing a Breathalyzer Test
If you refuse to take a Breathalyzer test, your license may be automatically suspended. However, if the arresting officers fail to warn you of this consequence, the results of the test may not be admitted in court or in a license suspension hearing. If this is your first refusal, your license will be suspended for one year. If you have had any prior refusals, your suspension will last for three years.
DUI laws can be confusing, so if you have questions about your rights or have been convicted of driving under the influence and live Illinois, contact an attorney at Goldman & Associates immediately. Criminal defense attorney Steven Goldman can protect your rights and help ensure you receive the best possible outcome in your case.