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Archive for the ‘Blood Alcohol Content’ tag

DUI Charges: False Positives for Chemical Breath Tests

December 10th, 2015 at 9:17 am

Illinois DUI attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorney, In Illinois, if you use the highways or roadways, you are considered to have given consent to chemical testing if you are arrested for driving under the influence under Illinois’ implied consent laws. A chemical test can either be a breath test, blood analysis, or a urine test, all of which are used to determine the blood alcohol concentration of a suspected drunk driver. You have a right to refuse to submit to chemical testing, but there are consequences for doing so, such as the automatic suspension of your driver’s license for refusal under 625 ILCS 5/6-203.1.

You would think that if you have not been drinking, then you would have nothing to fear in submitting to a chemical test, but this is not necessarily the case. There are a number of substances you can legally consume that can produce a false positive on your chemical test. Even if you have not been drinking alcohol, a false positive will cause you to be arrested for driving under the influence.

Breath Tests

Law enforcement frequently use a chemical testing method referred to as a breathalyzer test to put an estimate on a driver’s blood alcohol concentration. These tests work by assessing the amount of alcohol in the breath sample – and cannot distinguish the source of the alcohol.

Technical Problems Can Contribute to False Positives

A number of technical problems can produce a false positive breathalyzer reading. These are problems that have nothing to do with the suspected driver’s actions or behavior. Instead, these problems include the following issues:

  • Law enforcement failed to properly administer the breathalyzer test according to protocol;
  • The breathalyzer device malfunctioned; or
  • The breathalyzer device has not been properly calibrated.

Any of these technical problems could result in a false positive breathalyzer test reading, which could land you unfairly in jail for driving under the influence.

Substances That Can Contribute to False Positives

A variety of commonly consumed alcohol-based products have the potential to trigger a false positive in a breathalyzer test:

  • Some over-the-counter and prescription cough medicine have a high alcohol concentration, which can vaporize on the breath;
  • Certain mouthwash products and breath sprays have a high alcohol concentration to them;
  • Some alcohol-based acne treatment products that are used around the mouth and lips could contribute to a breathalyzer false positive; and
  • Some cosmetic products used for the lips can have alcohol components that can be detected by a breathalyzer test.

The alcohol in these products can vaporize and be carried with the suspect’s breath into the breathalyzer device, thus artificially inflating the actual alcohol content of the suspect’s breath.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Even if you blow a false positive on a breathalyzer test, you will be arrested for driving under the influence, and you will need to consult with an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. If you believe that your breathalyzer test results were incorrect, your lawyer will need to get to work collecting the evidence to support your claim. Please contact a skilled Rolling Meadows DUI attorney immediately. The attorneys at the the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley are prepared to assist you. You can reach out to us today by calling (847) 394-3200.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501.1

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1815&ChapterID=49&SeqStart=81900000&SeqEnd=84800000

Underage Drinking and Punishments in Illinois

November 14th, 2013 at 10:39 am

illinois-underage-drinkingDrinking alcohol is dangerous for people of all ages even if they are old enough to drink legally. The law is not meant just to get people in trouble, it is to protect them, which is why the punishments can be so severe.

Not only is consuming alcohol illegal, but those under 21 cannot even transport or have alcohol in their possession. If someone underage is caught transporting alcohol in their vehicle, they can be fined up to $500 and receive a jail sentence of up to six months. The exception to this law is if a person under the age of 21 is transporting alcohol for employment or under the order of his or her parents.

If someone underage is caught drinking and driving, their punishment will be even more severe than someone who is of age because they will have broken multiple laws. If someone underage registers a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher while driving, he or she may be sentenced to 30 days in jail and be fined up to $500.

Under the Zero Tolerance Law, any person under the age of 21 can be punished for drinking and driving even if he or she does not register a 0.08 BAC. Depending on how many offenses the person may have and whether or not he or she refuses the test, the offense if punishable by 3 months up to 2 years in prison. The prison time, of course, increases if the BAC is above 0.08.

Some underage drinkers even go as far as getting a fake ID so that they can buy alcohol themselves and get into bars. With each step away from the truth, these teens are digging deeper and deeper holes for themselves with the law. Having a fake ID can result in 25 hours of community service, most likely for an alcohol abuse prevention program or a fine of at least $250. If a person who is 21 or older allows someone else to borrow their ID can have the same results.

Underage drinking dangerous for the drinker and it is also dangerous for those around him or her. Anyone with knowledge of underage drinking can get into legal trouble as well. If you have been caught drinking underage or allowing someone to, contact a criminal attorney for help. Located in Rolling Meadows, attorney Chris Cosley will help you through your underage drinking court case today.

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