Police officers can seek to test Illinois drivers on suspicion of DUI in several situations. An officer can pull a driver over for speeding or a broken taillight, for a roadside safety check, or if the driver is driving in a manner that suggests the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Implied Consent to Sobriety Testing
Illinois drivers are deemed to have agreed to DUI testing when they drive on Illinois roads and highways, including submitting to a chemical test or tests of blood, breath, or urine in order to determine the alcohol content, the content of other drugs, or intoxicating compounds. This is called implied consent to testing, and it is allowed under Illinois law 625 ILCS 5/11-501.1. The police are allowed to choose which test will be administered in any given case.
Despite this law, the driver still does not have to take a sobriety test. However, there are consequences for refusal. If a police officer suspects a driver is driving drunk, the officer can ask the driver to take a field sobriety test. When the driver is unconscious or unable to refuse the test, they are deemed to have consented to any testing, and may be tested while unconscious.
Police Warnings Prior to Testing
A police officer asking a driver to take a sobriety test has to inform the driver of that refusal to submit to the test will result in:
- The statutory summary or immediate suspension of the person’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle;
- The disqualification of the person’s privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle;
- The statutory summary revocation of the person’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle, if the driver was involved in a motor vehicle accident that caused personal injury or death to another; and
- License suspension of differing length depending on criminal history, if the person submits to a test and tests positive for any drug or with a blood alcohol content (BAC) reading of 0.08 or higher. If the driver is under 21, the BAC should be 0.00.
The following periods of license suspension apply depending on whether or not the driver refuses to take the test.
- If the driver refuses or fails to complete the administered tests, his or her license can summarily or automatically be suspended for a year for a first offense, and three years for a second offense.
- If a driver takes a chemical test and fails, then his or her license may be suspended for six months for a first offender, and one year for subsequent offenders.
- If the driver is an authorized medical marijuana patient under Illinois law 410 ILCS 130, and takes a test that discloses impairment, the driver’s license may be suspended for six months.
A driver whose license is suspended may request a hearing before a judge to contest the suspension within 90 days of the notice issued for the suspension. It is advisable to have an attorney represent you during this hearing.
Contact an Experienced DUI Attorney in Illinois
If you are arrested for a DUI, whether or not you refused to take a test, you need to contact experienced Chicago DUI attorney, Steven Goldman, immediately. In addition to representing you in the actual DUI charge, attorney Steven Goldman can represent you in any hearing challenging summary license suspension.