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The Role of Field Sobriety Tests in Illinois DUI Arrests

 Posted on October 19, 2023 in DUI Law

Illinois DUI Defense AttorneyWhen an officer pulls you over under suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) they may request you to take a field sobriety test. A field sobriety test may consist of blowing into a breathalyzer or an array of physical feats such as walking a straight line and turning or standing on one leg. Individuals facing DUI charges should consult a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. They can defend you against these charges and fight to get them reduced or thrown out.

Am I Legally Required to Take a Field Sobriety Test?

The short answer is no. You are not legally obligated to entertain a field sobriety test when an officer pulls you over. However, it is Illinois law that anyone who gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle has given implied consent to testing. This means that refusal of a field sobriety test where you are found guilty of DUI charges will result in much stiffer penalties than had you initially obliged the officer. Though, if you are 100 percent confident in your ability to pass the test, it is in your best interest to take it. If you know that you will fail it, it can be a smarter choice not to take the test or else wind up facing multiple charges later in court.

Are There Additional Sobriety Tests After an Arrest?

An officer can still arrest and charge you with DUI if they feel they have enough evidence to do so. Once arrested, you can, and likely will be subject to additional sobriety testing. These tests are chemical and will often require blood, urine, or breath samples to test your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The legal limit for a BAC in Illinois is 0.08 percent. The results of these tests may or may not be used against you in court, as will your refusal or compliance with the field sobriety test.

Penalties For Failing a Sobriety Test

The penalties will vary based on what you choose to do once you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI. Refusing the field sobriety test can result in statutory summary suspension of your driving privileges. First offenders will likely see a one-year suspension while multiple offenses carry a three-year suspension. Taking and failing a field sobriety test can result in a similar statutory suspension, only this time with a six-month suspension for first-time offenders and one year for multiple offenses.

Consult a DuPage County, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

The primary reason for sobriety testing is the safety of others on the road. However, if you feel you were given a raw deal or need legal representation, a skilled Naperville, IL DUI defense attorney is a great thing to have in your corner. Contact the Law Office of Philip R. Nathe for a free consultation and to discuss a defense strategy for your case. Call 630-416-7600 right now to set up an appointment.

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