Should You Refuse A BAC Test?

December 14th, 2013 at 5:47 pm

After having a few too many drinks, you decide to drive home. You are extremely careful to stay on the right side of the yellow line, and you keep the car within the posted speed limit. However, despite your best efforts, a siren appears behind you. A police officer comes to your window, asks if you have been drinking. Even though an experienced Illinois DUI lawyer would tell you not to admit to having consumed alcohol, you inadvisably admit to having had a few drinks at dinner. The police officer asks you to step out of the car, and then asks you to submit to a field sobriety test. The police officer determines that you failed the test, and the police officer places you under arrest for DUI.

breathalyzer & sobriety test ImageThe police officer is going to ask you to submit to a test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). This could take the form of a breathalyzer, blood, or urine test, or any combination of the three. You have a right to refuse to take any test. But should you?

Immediate Results of Refusal

Every driver is deemed to have given their implied consent to be tested for alcohol or drugs if they make use of the public roadways of Illinois. Refusal to take the test will result in a suspension of your driver’s license for 12 months minimum. If this is not your first time refusing a test, your driver’s license will be suspended for 3 years. What’s more, the fact that you refused the test can be used against you at your trial for DUI. However, an attorney can help you successfully fight both the DUI charges and license suspension.

Should You Refuse Anyway?

Conventional wisdom states that you should never give the police any evidence that could be used against you at trial. However, DUI is a unique problem, in that by withholding evidence from the police by refusing a test, your driver’s license is automatically suspended. What should you do in this scenario?

Once you are arrested, if you know that you are likely to fail any chemical test, you should likely refuse the test. Your license will still be suspended, but an Illinois DUI attorney may be able to attack the suspension, or get you a restricted driving permit to allow you to drive to get to work or pick up groceries. Further, you will not have provided the police with evidence to build their case.

No matter what you decide to do, a DUI arrest must be dealt with quickly, preferably by an attorney with experience. If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, contact an experienced DUI attorney today.

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