Breath & Blood Tests in Chicago
How To Fight Failed Breath & Blood Test Results
Following an arrest for driving under the influence, a person will be taken into custody and tested at the station with either a blood or breath test. Both can be used to measure the degree of alcohol or drugs in the system. Exact procedures are required to be followed when these tests are conducted; however they frequently are not done standardly, opening the door to challenging them as evidence that can be used against you.
A knowledgeable Chicago DUI attorney is aware of the exact steps that must be legally taken when testing with either one of these tests and can dispute the results.
Two Ways to Challenge BAC Results
- A breath test is taken with a Breathalyzer, an apparatus that measures the concentration of alcohol in the system. This apparatus must be properly maintained, certified and used only by someone trained and licensed to do so. Any violation of these points can lead to the evidence gathered from this test to be dismissed, possibly allowing your DUI charges to be dismissed as well.
- A blood alcohol test should be administered only by a person qualified to do so, and the results determined by someone trained to evaluate the findings. Any deviation from the correct procedures opens the door to challenging this as evidence.
Other Factors Affecting Blood & Breath Tests
Other factors that can affect a blood or breath test can be the method in which the test was administered, as well as physical conditions the person may have that could affect the results. Even the type of food eaten immediately prior to a test could possibly affect the findings on a test.
Looking for an attorney for a DUI case in Chicago? With the legal challenges that can be effected for you defense, my firm at the Law Offices of Mitch Furman will do our utmost to fight your DUI charges and dispute the findings of any blood or breath test that may have been administered.
Should I Submit to a Breath Test if I'm Pulled Over for DUI?
When the police officer suspects that you are driving under the influence, they will ask you to submit to a chemical test, typically a breath test. Many clients come into my office asking whether or not they should comply and take the breath test in this given situation. Unfortunately, in Illinois there is an implied consent law which requires you to take one of the three chemicals tests.
These tests include:
- A Breath Test
- A Blood Test
- A Urine Test
Typically the arresting officer chooses which test, but as the suspect you have the right to ask for additional tests in order to ensure accuracy. By law you are also required to comply if they ask you to take a preliminary breath test even if you are not arrested or under police custody. Preliminary breath tests are treated like field sobriety tests.
If you have had only a few drinks and you feel like you are coherent and in control, then I suggest taking the test. This way the consequences will most likely be minimal in comparison to a refusal which is an automatic suspension. However, if you know you have had way too many drinks and you are probably way above the legal limit, then I suggest refusal.
What if I refuse?
If you decide to refuse to take the test, then the arresting officer should warn you that your driver's license will be suspended for up to a year. If this is not your first refusal in the past, then your license could be taken away for three years.
The Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5) talks more about the penalties of a breath test refusal. The automatic suspension will probably be less harsh than a criminal suspension. Remember that in some states they don't allow you to contact an attorney before taking a breath test or any other chemical test. They will want you to take one as soon as possible after driving to get an accurate reading.
If you refuse, they will take your license away from you. Don't lose hope though! You may be eligible for a temporary driving permit which can allow you to drive. However, in order to get this you will need to put in a request within 10 days of your arrest. Be sure to contact an attorney as soon as possible.
What if I am given the option of which test to take?
If the arresting officer lets you choose which test to take, then I always suggest taking the blood test. This test is the most accurate, the urine test is a close second.
I have more than a decade of experience helping clients defend their charges and will provide you with personal and dedicated legal representation. To schedule a free case evaluation, contact my Chicago criminal defense firm today!