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What to Do if You Get Pulled Over for a DUI in Illinois?

As a driver operating a motor vehicle in Illinois, you are subject to the implied consent law. That is you are required by the law to submit to a blood test, breath test, or urine test if you have been arrested for a DUI. The implied consent law implies that if a police officer lawfully arrests you under suspicion that you have been driving under the influence of alcohol it is necessary for you to submit to one of the chemical tests so your blood alcohol content can be determined.

According to the Illinois zero tolerance law, any driver that is below the age of 21 that is found with any trace of alcohol in their system will lose their driving privilege.

It is normal to feel nervous after being pulled over for suspicion of a DUI in Illinois. Most people wonder what to do if they get pulled over for DUI in Illinois. Your actions during this time can help you avoid an arrest and even be useful in fighting your DUI case if you get charged. Don't wait around, call a DUI lawyer in Illinois for a free consultation!

Avoid Making Any Incriminating Statements

After being pulled over for a DUI suspicion, the police officer will most of the time not allow you to get in touch with your attorney until you have either agreed to or declined a chemical test.  A police officer can administer a breathalyzer test without a Miranda warning. They are only required to issue you with a Miranda warning when they interrogate you.

man getting pulled over while drinking and driving, Get Pulled Over for a DUI in Illinois

When a police officer pulls you over it is expected for them to ask you questions about what you have been doing hours before you got pulled over, any drug consumption, food, alcohol, or physical disability. You can politely decline to answer these questions until you are able to get in touch with your lawyer. This is because the answer that you will give during this time can make it hard for you to be able to defend your DUI case later on.

You should only offer your driver’s license, registration, and any other basic identification information that the law enforcement officer will ask from you. Other than that you should avoid volunteering any information to the police officer. Your response may not be taken lightly by the police officer and they may try using psychological pressure to force you to talk. They can threaten arrest or actually end up arresting you. However, if they do not have proof for their accusation the case will end up being dismissed in a court of law.

Should You Take the Breath or Field Sobriety Tests?

The question of whether you should submit to a breathalyzer test is a complicated one and it is highly dependent on your specific situation. If you submit to a breathalyzer test and you exceed the legal limit then you will be charged with a DUI. If you refuse to submit to the test and are found guilty your driver’s license will be suspended.  According to the Illinois license suspension law, you will get an automatic license suspension of 12 months for refusing to submit to chemical testing. A first offender that submits to the test may have their license suspended for 6 months if their blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more.

Related Content: Questions to Have Prepared to Ask a DUI Lawyer

The question of whether you should submit to a breathalyzer test is a complicated one and it is highly dependent on your specific situation. If you submit to a breathalyzer test and you exceed the legal limit then you will be charged with a DUI. If you refuse to submit to the test and are found guilty your driver’s license will be suspended. According to the Illinois license suspension law, you will get an automatic license suspension of 12 months for refusing to submit to chemical testing.

A first offender that submits to the test may have their license suspended for 6 months if their blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more. However, if you do not submit to the test the police officer will not have evidence and your case can be dismissed.

In certain Illinois counties, a first-time DUI offender can be offered court supervision. Even so, even if you are a first-time DUI offender most judges will not grant you court supervision with a BAC of 0.20 or more.

It is crucial for you to consult with your lawyer if you can before making a decision on whether you should submit to chemical testing. In the case where you are unable to reach your lawyer you can refuse to take a chemical test in the following circumstances;

person in handcuffs with an open container in their car, Get Pulled Over for a DUI in Illinois
  • If you are not a first-time offender.
  • In the case where your BAC is 0.20 or higher.
  • You got involved in a crash that as a result led to a serious injury or death of an individual.

Most of the time the police will use PBTs (Preliminary breath tests) at traffic stops. They will use the PBTs before a driver has an opportunity to consult with a lawyer. Your driver’s license will not always be automatically suspended as a result of automatic summary suspension.

Decline Any Requests to Search Your Vehicle

You do not have to give in to the police officer’s request to search your vehicle you have the right to refuse. However, if the police have reasonable doubt to believe that you are engaged in criminal activities they can search your vehicle without your permission.

FAQ: How Can You Beat a DUI in Illinois?

Request a Lawyer if You Are Arrested For DUI

You should seriously consider talking to a lawyer if you are in police custody. A drunk driving charge is serious and you want all the help you can get from an experienced criminal defense attorney. You can call a Chicago DUI Defense lawyer and talk to them about your case. We want to help you beat your criminal charges. Get in touch with us and schedule your first initial consultation.  

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