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Why You Should Refuse The Breathalyzer

If you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, the police will ask you to perform a series of field sobriety tests followed by a request to take a Breathalyzer test. It is important to note that you are not under arrest and you have not been charged with a crime at this point. Law enforcement uses these highly subjective tests to help build its case. In most instances, it is likely in your best interest to refuse to participate in field sobriety tests and to refuse to take the initial Breathalyzer test, even if doing so will result in your arrest.

At the law firm of Martin & Kent, L.L.C., our attorneys have successfully prevailed in numerous DUI cases throughout DuPage County, Kane County and Cook County. If you have been charged with drunk driving, it is crucial to contact us immediately so we can ensure that your rights are protected while we build you the strongest available defense.

Should You Consent To Field Sobriety Tests?

In general, it is almost always in your best interest to refuse to participate in field sobriety tests. These tests are open to the subjective opinion of the officer who pulled you over, and who is likely to be biased against you due to the fact that he or she pulled you over in the first place. There are a number of different factors that may cause you to perform poorly on field sobriety tests, regardless of your intoxication level, including:

  • Bad weather
  • Traffic speeding by on the side of the road
  • Lack of sleep
  • Poor coordination
  • Fear and intimidation from interacting with law enforcement
  • And many, many more

Should You Refuse To Take A Breath Test At The Police Station?

Illinois, like all states, has what is known as an "implied consent" law. Basically, this means that all drivers consent to a breath test, blood test or urine test if they are arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Refusing to consent to these tests means that your driver's license will be suspended and evidence of your refusal will be used to bolster the case against you in court. However, the constitutionality of implied consent laws is currently unsettled.

The Supreme Court has held that, in most cases, police must obtain a search warrant to draw blood or collect urine. The court believes that this is necessary to ensure that a person's Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches is not violated. At this time, the court has not extended this holding to breath tests, although this important question is expected to be decided soon.

If you opt for a blood or urine test, the police must obtain a search warrant. If they fail to do so, it may be possible to get your case dismissed. If you refuse to submit to a Breathalyzer test, we can still help defend your rights. Breathalyzer machines are notorious for being unreliable and are prone to malfunction. However, if you consent to a Breathalyzer test at the station and fail, a conviction is almost guaranteed. Let us handle any questions concerning why you refused to take the test. It may be possible to raise a Fourth Amendment defense or even a Fifth Amendment defense concerning your right against self-incrimination. Our lawyers will thoroughly review the circumstances of your case to help achieve the best possible results.

Contact Our Attorneys If You Have Been Charged With DUI In Illinois

A positive breath test or refusal to take a breath test does not mean that you are automatically guilty of drunk driving. Protect your rights. Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case. With offices in Wheaton and Naperville, we provide criminal defense services to individuals throughout DuPage County, Kane County and Cook County.