Technically, no. Someone who has been arrested and charged with a DUI may choose to not take a breath or blood test that measures their blood alcohol content. However, refusing to submit to a test 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 physical control of a motor vehicle on the public highways is deemed to have given consent to a chemical test for the purpose of determining the content of alcohol in their blood. Additionally, Illinois has recently extend the implied consent law to include pre-arrest field sobriety tests with hand held breathalyzers.
What Are the Penalties for Refusing to Take a Chemical Test?
When someone is lawfully arrested for a DUI – over even simply stopped on suspicion of a DUI – and they refuse to submit to a BAC test, their driving privileges will be suspended. 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:
- First Refusal: 1 year license suspension
- Second Refusal (within 5 years): 3 year license suspension
Do I Need a Lawyer?
DUIs are serious and have severe consequences. If you refused a chemical test when stopped on suspicion of a DUI or after being arrested, you should consider contacting a DUI/DWI lawyer who specializes in DUI defense immediately. An Illinois lawyer will be able to help you fight any charges and may be able to help you reduce your penalties.