Refusing a DUI Test and Implied Consent in Illinois

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If I am Arrested for DUI in Illinois, am I Required to Take a Chemical Test?

Technically, no. If you are arrested and charged with a DUI, you may choose not to take a breath or blood BAC (blood alcohol content) test. However, a refusal to do so will have serious consequences due to Illinois' implied consent laws.

What is Implied Consent?

Illinois' implied consent law states that a person who drives or is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle upon the public highways of the State shall be deemed to have given consent to a chemical test or tests of blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining the content of alcohol in the blood.  In addition, the Illinois legislature is attempting to extend its implied consent law to include pre-arrest field sobriety tests and hand held breath tests.

What are the Penalties for Refusing to Take a Chemical Test After Being Arrested for DUI?

If you are lawfully arrested for a DUI and refuse to submit to a BAC test, you will be subjected to a summary suspension of your driving privileges. The summary suspension for refusing to take a BAC test is in addition to the standard penalties for DUI.  Even if you are acquitted of DUI charges, you will still face the summary suspension:

Additionally, there is currently a bill before the Illinois legislature which would double the penalty for first time refusals to a one year license suspension.

Do I Need a Lawyer if I Have Been Charged With a BAC Test Refusal?

DUI arrests are serious and can have severe consequences. If you refused a chemical BAC test when arrested, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney who specializes in DUI defense immediately. Your attorney will be able to help you fight any charges and may be able to help you reduce your penalties.

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Last Modified: 07-23-2010 04:55 PM PDT

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