If you’ve taken driver’s ed recently, or been charged with a DUI, you’ve probably learned that Illinois has an implied consent law, and that this law has consequences for drivers who are accused of driving under the influence. But what exactly is implied consent?
If we break it down to its component parts, implied consent means that one gives an unstated, but understood agreement to do something or allow something. In this instance, it is to consent to a sobriety or chemical test to determine impairment by drugs or alcohol. By virtue of having an Illinois driver’s license and using public roads, one implies consent to be tested for drugs or alcohol by breathalyzer, blood or urine test, or field sobriety test.
In Illinois, if you test at over 0.8 percent blood-alcohol content (BAC), you are considered under the influence and can be charged with a DUI. Additionally, you don’t have the right to speak to an attorney before being tested, as you must be tested as soon as possible after the time you were last driving.
Implied consent laws do not mean that you can’t refuse to be tested—you can—but that the refusal will carry consequences; in Illinois, the first time you refuse a test, your license will be suspended for one year, and second and third refusals carry a three-year license suspension penalty. While refusing the test might seem like a way to avoid incriminating yourself and providing proof of your intoxication, it might not save you from being convicted of a DUI.
In addition to the suspension of your license that will arise from refusing an impairment test, a DUI conviction can come with heavy penalties, depending on whether this is a first or repeat offense, whether anyone else was injured or involved, and a variety of other factors. See Illinois DUI Penalties here.
If you’re facing a DUI charge, especially if you’ve been arrested for refusing a breathalyzer, blood, or other impairment test, you need the help of an experienced DUI lawyer. Call the Epstein Law Firm today.