555 Skokie Blvd., Suite 500, Northbrook, IL 60062

Free Initial Consultation

847-239-4703 | 773-383-8745

Refusing a BAC Test Can Cost You

Posted on in DUI

refusing a BAC test, Skokie criminal defense attorneyWhen you get behind the wheel of a car or truck on Illinois roadways, you, of course, maintain certain rights, but you also assume certain responsibilities. While you may not be able to control the actions of other drivers, you have the responsibility to operate your vehicle in a manner that promotes safety to both other individuals and public at large. Safe driving means that, among other considerations, you are not impaired by alcohol, drugs, or other substances. As such, Illinois law maintains that by exercising your driving privileges, you are granting implied consent to blood-alcohol content (BAC) testing whenever it deemed to be appropriate by law enforcement. If you are asked to submit to a BAC test, including breathalyzer testing, refusing to cooperate will cost you your driving privileges.

Separate From Criminal Prosecution

Technically, refusing a BAC test is not a crime, but that does not mean you cannot be punished. Based upon the state’s implied consent laws, refusing a test is an administrative offense for which the penalties are imposed by the Secretary of State’s Office. Any administrative penalty is in addition to those that could result from eventual prosecution on charges of driving under the influence.

Statutory Summary Suspension

If you refuse to submit to BAC testing when requested by law enforcement, your driving privileges will be suspended for 12 months. A second or subsequent refusal will result in a three-year suspension. It is worth noting that the penalty for refusing a BAC test is substantially more severe than for failing one. A failed breathalyzer or other chemical test for BAC results in a six-month suspension for a first offense and a one-year suspension for a second or subsequent offense.

DUI Charges Still Likely

Some drivers may believe—in the moment, at least—that if they refuse a BAC test, the police will not have enough evidence to justify an arrest on DUI charges. While blood-alcohol content is a standard that can be easily quantified, it is far from the only factors that can lead to a DUI arrest. Other signs of impairment include slurred speech, careless driving, inability to maintain focus, and the presence of alcohol on a driver’s breath. Taken together, these can lead a law enforcement officer to reasonably conclude that you may have been driving under the influence. If you are arrested, your refusal to comply with testing can be presented as evidence against you.

Get Help Today

A statutory summary suspension, while automatically imposed, may be overturned in certain situations, but doing so requires the assistance of an experienced Lake County DUI defense lawyer. Contact the Law Offices of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C., to schedule your complimentary consultation today. Let us show you how we can help you protect your future.

Source:

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

Back to Top