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What Happens If You Refuse to Submit to a Breathalyzer Test in Chicago?

Chicago Criminal Defense Attorneys Controlling the Evidence

If you refuse to a submit to a breathalyzer test when pulled over on suspicion of DUI, you will face an administrative suspension of your driver’s license for 12 months for a first offense. If you fail a breathalyzer, the suspension is for only six months, but it could be used to convict you of criminal DUI charges.

When you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test during a DUI-related stop, you give yourself an advantage in certain cases. Illinois law divides driving under the influence (DUI) into two distinct components: one criminal and the other civil. Refusing or failing a blood-alcohol content (BAC) test will result in civil or administrative penalties imposed by the Secretary of State’s office:

Refusing a BAC Test:

  • First offense—Suspension of driving privileges for 12 months.
  • Second or subsequent offense—Suspension of driving privileges for three years.

Failing a BAC Test: 0.8 percent BAC or higher for non-commercial drivers over age 21.

  • First offense—Suspension of driving privileges for six months.
  • Second or subsequent offense within five years—Suspension of driving privileges for one year.

These administrative penalties or statutory summary suspensions, as they are called under Illinois law, are in addition to any consequences that result from conviction on criminal charges of DUI. They normally begin on the 46th day following the failure or refusal.

Chicago DUI Defense Lawyers Protecting Your Rights

Failing a breathalyzer could provide prosecutors with the evidence they need to convict you on DUI charges. While refusing a test also comes with consequences, the experienced attorneys at Luisi Legal Group can help you deal with them. We can help you fight to get your suspension lifted, but doing so is not always an option. In some cases, however, you will qualify for the state’s breath-alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) program which allows you to stay on the road despite your suspension. With our assistance, you can get back to your life sooner while avoiding the most serious consequences of a criminal conviction.

For more information about refusing a breathalyzer test, contact the Chicago offices of Luisi Legal Group. Call 773-276-5541 for a free consultation today. We proudly serve clients all throughout Cook County.

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