As in other U.S. states, when you receive a driver’s license in Illinois, you accept the right of law enforcement officers to request a breath test if they suspect you are driving under the influence. The legal term for this is “implied consent”.
You also have the right to refuse testing, both during the stop and at the station following your arrest. However, doing so may result in certain penalties, even if you do not ultimately receive a DUI conviction.
Automatic suspension of license
If you refuse a breath test, an officer may suspend your driver’s license, effective immediately. He or she may then provide you with a receipt that allows you to continue driving for a short period. During this time, you may choose to contest the suspension.
Obtaining a permit during license suspension
Even if you do not receive a conviction after your arrest, suspension of your license may last more than a year if you have prior DUIs on your record. However, you may apply for a permit that allows you to continue driving under certain conditions during your suspension period.
If it is your first DUI, you may apply for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit, which allows full driving privileges with installation of a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device. If you have previous DUIs, you may be eligible for a Restricted Driving Permit, which also requires installation of a BAIID. However, to receive an RDP, you may need to prove that losing your license poses an extreme hardship.
Facing DUI charges can be intimidating and complicated. If you have concerns about the results of your arrest, an attorney may be able to help protect your rights, build a strong defense and minimize the impact of a potential conviction.