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Archive for the ‘breathalyzer test’ tag

Understanding the Ramifications of Refusing a Breathalyzer Test in Illinois

October 23rd, 2017 at 6:21 am

breathalyzer test, DUI charge, DUI conviction, DUI defense, Rolling Meadows DUI attorneyIf you or a family member is pulled over, should you consent to taking a breathalyzer test? This is a common question and, in truth, the answer is—it depends. This is because each case is different and your circumstances may have presented a scenario where refusing a Breathalyzer test was appropriate, or vice versa.

Under Illinois Law, when you obtain a driver’s license you are impliedly consenting to take a Breathalyzer test if you are requested by a police officer to do so. This implied consent is codified in state statute 625 ILCS 40/5-7.1.

Even with the existence of an implied consent law, you have the right to refuse a Breathalyzer test, but the ramifications can be quite severe. For example, if you are convicted of a DUI and you refused to take a breathalyzer test, then your driver’s license will be suspended for at least one year.

Warning Required

When a police officer asks you to take a breathalyzer test, they are legally obligated to inform you that refusing to take the test may result in the aforementioned suspension of your driver’s license.

The suspension of your driver’s license can go beyond one year, depending whether you have a criminal record and/or a prior DUI conviction.

Why Some People Opt to Decline the Breathalyzer Test

There is a belief that if you refuse a breathalyzer test, it will improve your chances of prevailing against the government’s DUI charge. This is not a sound legal strategy. Yes, the lack of an official breathalyzer result may make it more challenging for the prosecution to obtain a conviction, but it does not guarantee your victory in court. This is because the government can prove a DUI through a variety of methods, even without a breathalyzer result.

For example, the police officer who pulled you over could testify in court concerning your driving behavior and physical appearance when you were pulled over. If you underwent a field sobriety test, the results of that test are generally admissible as evidence. Also, there may be video footage from the police officer’s squad car which could potentially reveal that you were intoxicated. Some, or all, of these tests and other evidence could be considered sufficient by a jury to find you guilty of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Speak to a Rolling Meadows DUI Defense Attorney Today

Whether you agreed to take a breathalyzer test or not, you have the right to quality legal representation. That is why it makes sense to contact a passionate Rolling Meadows DUI attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. We are eager to assist you immediately.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500400K5-7.1

DUI Testing in Illinois

September 11th, 2017 at 9:53 am

breathalyzer test, DUI testing, field sobriety tests, local DUI attorney, Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorneyWhen a police officer pulls you over on suspicion of driving under the influence in Illinois, he or she will likely ask to see your license and registration, ask if you have been drinking, and, if he or she still suspects that you are intoxicated, administer one or more of the field sobriety tests described below.

Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests are simple tests that police officers administer on the side of the road after pulling a driver over in order to predict blood alcohol concentrations of 0.08 and above. Approved standardized field sobriety tests in Illinois include:

  • The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: To administer this test the officer asks the driver to follow the tip of his or her pen or finger with only his or her eyes. During this test the officer is looking to see whether the driver is experiencing nystagmus, an involuntary jerking of the eye that is magnified when a person consumes alcohol or certain other drugs.
  • The Walk-and-Turn: During this test the officer asks the driver to walk in a straight line by placing one foot in front of the other, heel to toe, heel to toe, and so forth nine times, turn, and walk back on the line in the same manner. All steps are taken while keeping one’s arms at his or her sides.
  • The One-Legged Stand: Here the officer tells the driver to stand with one’s arms at his or her sides, raise one foot approximately six inches off the ground, and balance on one leg for 30 seconds.

Additionally, a police officer in Illinois can also administer a breathalyzer test on the side of the road in order to measure the amount of alcohol on a driver’s breath. A breathalyzer is a device that gives a very accurate estimate of the amount of alcohol present in the blood of the person who blows into it. However, it is important to note that the only way to actually test someone’s blood alcohol concentration is via a blood test, which police officers do not administer on the side of the road but do conduct at the station after arresting a driver for driving under the influence.

Drivers in Illinois implicitly consent to submitting to a breathalyzer test when asked to do so by virtue of driving in our state. Therefore, refusing a roadside breathalyzer test can carry steep consequences such as having your license suspended.

Accused of Driving Under the Influence? Contact a Local DUI Attorney

Any accusation of driving under the influence in Illinois should be taken very seriously as the penalties available for first-time DUI convictions can include up to one year of incarceration, a fine of up to $2,500, a license suspension of up to six months, and various other penalties as well. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley our experienced Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorneys are well aware of the huge toll that a DUI conviction can take on a person’s life. Therefore, we work tirelessly to provide excellent legal representation to each and every one of our clients.

Source:

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

Five Rights You Have When You Get a Traffic Ticket

February 23rd, 2016 at 7:00 am

traffic ticket, Rolling Meadows Traffic Offenses AttorneyWhile you may think you have a pretty good handle on the rules of the road, do you know what your rights are when you are pulled over and given a traffic citation?

Not many people actually know what their rights are when they are pulled over. Therefore, it is important that you understand the rights you have when law enforcement pulls you over to issue you a citation for a traffic violation.

  1. You Can Wait to Stop at a Safe Location. Where you are being pulled over might not be a terribly safe place to stop. It might be dark, there might be no lighting, or there may be no shoulder for you to pull over into. You can continue to travel a reasonable distance before stopping at a safe place, but you should indicate to the officer who is pulling you over of your intention. This could be done by slowing down, turning on your blinker to indicate that you are pulling over, and then informing the officer of why you did not pull over sooner once you do finally stop and the officer approaches the vehicle.
  2. You Do Not Have to Answer Questions. You may decline to answer questions asked by the officer that pulled you over. Be polite, but know that you do not have to answer. Officers try to get more information out of you than they really need, and this can lead to additional tickets if you are not careful. This also applies to when the officer asks if you know why you are being pulled over. You have no obligation to incriminate yourself. Even if you were speeding, you do not have to say so.
  3. You Can Ask Questions. You have the right to ask why you have been pulled over. Most law enforcement officers will inform you of what their probable cause was for pulling you over as soon as they approach your vehicle. However, if they do not come right out and say why they pulled you over, you may ask.
  4. You Can Ask to Speak With Your Lawyer. If the situation goes beyond the standard ticket issuance, and the police want to search your car or something similar, you have the right to request that you speak to your lawyer. You may then answer questions that the officer has in light of your lawyer’s advice. You also do not have to consent to a search of your vehicle without a warrant.  
  5. You Have the Right to Refuse a Breathalyzer Test. While there are consequences under the law for refusing a breathalyzer test, such as the automatic suspension of your driver’s license, you are well within your rights to refuse to submit to one at the officer’s request.

Contact Us for Professional Representation

Traffic tickets are a serious matter, and an experienced traffic violation lawyer can help you defend against your traffic citation. Please do not hesitate to contact a Rolling Meadows traffic offenses attorney immediately. Let our attorneys provide you with exceptional representation in your case.

Source:

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

Strategies for a DUI Trial

December 17th, 2015 at 10:10 am

Illinois DUI lawyer, Illinois criminal attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, Many people who are charged with DUI under Illinois law are first-time offenders, and they have no idea what the DUI trial process will be like or even how it should be approached to either get the case dismissed or get the charges reduced. An experienced DUI criminal defense attorney with many years of trial experience can acquaint you with the process, and after developing an understanding of the facts about your specific DUI case, your attorney will be able to help you develop the best strategy for your trial.

The fines and penalties for a DUI conviction are significant and cannot be taken lightly, so presenting your best possible defense to the charges you face is in your interest. You want your DUI charges to go away, and a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to evaluate the options that are available. to you. There are a number of strategies you may be able to utilize. For instance, you may present any of the following:

  • Evidence suggesting innocence or mitigation of your alleged crime. When you can produce evidence that you are innocent of the charges that are pending against you, or that you are guilty of a lesser crime, this evidence can be helpful in your DUI trial.
  • Lack of evidence in support of your charges. On the flip side, if the prosecution lacks sufficient evidence against you for the alleged crime, your DUI case could be dismissed.
  • Witness testimony supporting your defense. Witness testimony that supports your defense is helpful in your DUI trial. If a passenger observed how the arresting officer failed to adhere to proper DUI field sobriety testing or arrest protocol, this testimony could be used to have your DUI case dismissed. You yourself could also be a witness at your own trial, if your DUI criminal defense lawyer thinks this would be a good idea.
  • Expert witness testimony supporting your defense. An expert witness could offer evidence to suggest that the breathalyzer test or other chemical test results are incorrect. You could have produced a false positive blood alcohol concentration, or there could have been factors that contributed to a higher than accurate blood alcohol concentration estimate, and an expert witness could offer medical or scientific evidence to support your defense.

Motions Can Help You

There are situations in which you can use a motion during your DUI trial to get the case or certain evidence thrown out, or to require the prosecution to do, or not do, something. Motions can change the course of prosecution in your DUI case and when used effectively and appropriately, motions can help strengthen your defense.

Motions are written requests made to the court by a movant party (i.e., the party or person making the motion is a movant), and the court will decide whether to grant or deny the motion. Motions are sometimes very complicated, full of legal language, and have to be submitted in a certain format and within certain time limits. An experienced DUI lawyer will know which motions are applicable to your DUI case and whether you should make them in your defense.

Contact Our Office Today

DUI trial strategy is an important aspect of your DUI criminal defense, and an experienced DUI criminal trial attorney can help you through this process. Please contact a passionate Rolling Meadows DUI attorney immediately if you need assistance with your case. We are happy to help you today.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

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

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