Should you take the breathalyzer in Illinois?
One of the most common questions my clients ask me in regards to Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is "should I blow in the breathalyzer?"
Of the course the answer is, it depends. Most lawyers will tell you to never, ever take the breathalyzer. I disagree.
If you have been out for the evening and had 1 or 2 drinks over the course of the entire night (ie. several hours have passed), it is generally pretty safe to take the breathalyzer test and return a result under the legal limit, which is .08%.
As a side note, it is possible to blow below the legal limit and still receive a DUI. This would only happen if coupled with other factors; such as acting or behaving in an intoxicated manner, or if you were under the influence of other altering compounds, such as cannabis. This is entirely up to the discretion of the officer administering the tests.
If you are pulled over by an officer and believe that you may have had one drink too many, it is likely a wise choice to refuse the breathalyzer test. Many people do not realize that you do not have to take the test. However, this refusal carries consequences. If you refuse, your license will automatically be suspended for one year pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/6-208.1.
The takeaway here is to use common sense. If you know you only had a few drinks over the course of an entire night and hours have passed, do not fear the test!
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