What to know about breath tests in Illinois

If you find yourself presented with the task of taking a breath test at a traffic stop, you may fret about what to do.

To prepare for this situation, here is what you should know about breath tests in Illinois.

1. Illinois is an implied consent state

Illinois is an implied consent state, meaning the state considers your acceptance of a state-issued driver’s license as your consent to submit to chemical testing, such as breath tests. You can deny the test, but not without consequences. You may have your license suspended for refusal of chemical testing.

2. Preliminary breath tests do not count in court

There are two types of breath tests: preliminary and evidence tests. Officers may attempt to administer a preliminary breath test at a traffic stop to justify the stop. However, the results from these tests are not admissible in court. The authorities must give you a second, more in-depth breath test at the police station after your arrest to use against you in court.

3. You can challenge the results

There are many bases to defend against DUI charges. For example, improper breath test administration, admission of preliminary test results to the court case or a police documentation error may work in your favor and strengthen your defense against the charges.

No one wants to deal with DUI charges, but there are ways to protect yourself if you are in a sticky situation. Keep these factors in mind if you face the proposition of submitting to chemical testing at a traffic stop.