arlington heights DUI defense lawyerGetting pulled over by law enforcement can be a nerve-racking experience regardless of whether you have been drinking or not. Looking in your rear-view mirror and seeing those flashing lights can make you so nervous that it may feel like your heart will beat out of your chest. During this critical time, staying calm and remembering your rights are essential. 

The police officer walks to your window and asks if you have been drinking. Before you know it, the officer asks if you will consent to a breathalyzer test. You oblige and find out seconds later you have blown a number above 0.08 percent, the legal limit, and are immediately arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). If you ever find yourself under these circumstances, it is critically important that you seek legal counsel from an experienced DUI attorney right away.

Illinois Law

When the results of a breath alcohol test are over 0.08 percent and an individual is arrested for drunk driving, the state has the authority to suspend the person’s driver’s license for up to six months. In this scenario, the driver may be eligible for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit. This will usually require a car breathalyzer called a Breath Ignition Interlock Device. However, if you have another violation within five years, the penalty worsens to a 12-month license suspension with no eligibility for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit. For example, suppose the operator of a motor vehicle refuses to submit a chemical test. In that case, the individual’s license will be suspended for 12 months for a first-time refusal and a Monitoring Device Driving Permit after 31 days. For any subsequent refusal, the license will be suspended for three years, and the driver will not be eligible for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit. 

Do You Have to Consent to a Breathalyzer Test?

Notably, the state of Illinois is an implied consent state. This means a driver must consent to provide a breath, blood, or another chemical sample if asked to do so as part of a lawful request by a peace officer. You have the right to refuse a breath alcohol test; however, there are consequences for doing so. If you refuse an evidentiary breath test at the police station, you face a one-year driver’s license suspension. 

While it may appear that failing a breathalyzer test is the last nail in the coffin and will ensure you are convicted of a DUI, this is not always the case. While a failed breathalyzer test can be a strong indicator of a DUI, it is not always conclusive. 

Breathalyzer Flaws

While a blood test is far more accurate than a breathalyzer test, blood tests are more invasive and are generally done in a clinical or hospital setting. In some cases, a blood test may even require a search warrant. Due to their ease of use, many departments rely on breathalyzers powered by a tin-oxide chip that measures alcohol concentration. Unfortunately, these devices are prone to false positives and can be impacted by other substances like cigarette smoke and ketones, which the body produces naturally. 

Breathalyzers suffer from weaknesses that can lessen their reliability. These weaknesses include

  • Incorrect collaboration

  • Human error

  • Lack of consistency when testing

  • Environmental factors 

Contact an Arlington Heights DUI Attorney

Just because you failed a breathalyzer test and were charged with a DUI does not mean a conviction is certain. To avoid being convicted, you must hire a DUI attorney with experience. The skillful Arlington Heights DUI lawyer with Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law] knows that breathalyzers are only sometimes accurate. Furthermore, a skilled attorney will look for holes in the police’s story and see if any mistakes were made when you were pulled over. Call 847-253-3400 today for a free and complete consultation.