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What Are the Risks When Refusing a Breath Test in Illinois?As the state of Illinois continues to emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown, more and more people are starting to venture to the state’s bars and restaurants once again. This means that patrons again have access to establishments that sell alcoholic beverages. If you decide to go out and enjoy a few drinks with a small group of friends, you should know that police departments around the region are on the lookout for drunk drivers. As a result, you could be stopped and asked to take a breath test to make sure that your blood-alcohol content (BAC) is under the legal limit. Regardless of how much you have had to drink, refusing a breath test under certain circumstances could lead to serious consequences.

Illinois’ Implied Consent Laws

When you drive on the public streets and highways of Illinois, state law presumes that you have given your “implied consent” to submit to BAC testing. In the course of a traffic stop, the officer may request a preliminary breath test as part of his or her efforts to determine if there is probable cause to arrest you for driving under the influence (DUI). If the officer establishes probable cause and arrests you, you will be asked to submit to an evidentiary BAC test.

There is an important distinction between the two types of testing. Preliminary BAC testing is not generally admissible as evidence in court, and you can refuse a preliminary BAC test with no formal consequences. Of course, your refusal is likely to make the officer look a bit harder for other indications that you are intoxicated. Once you are arrested, however, things change dramatically. If you refuse an evidentiary BAC test subsequent to an arrest on suspicion of DUI, you will almost certainly lose your driver’s license.

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DUI, DUI arrests, DUI case, DUI charges, mandatory license loss, McHenry County criminal defense lawyer, reduce criminal chargesImplied consent laws play a crucial role in the field of driving under the influence (DUI). However, they can be difficult to understand, in large part because you do not have to do anything to infringe on them: Instead, it is something that you do not do that breaks an implied consent law.

To assist you in understanding implied consent laws, it is helpful to see what purpose they play in our drunk driving laws in Illinois.

What are Implied Consent Laws?

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Breathalyzers: How They WorkNearly everyone in America is familiar with the fact that it is illegal to drink and drive. Doing so violates a state's driving under the influence (DUI) law. However, not very many have considered the intricate issue of how law enforcement can effectively determine whether someone is “under the influence” of alcohol. That police use breathalyzers is common knowledge, but how do they work?

How Alcohol Gets Into Your Blood

When you drink an alcoholic beverage, it gets swallowed down your throat and makes it to your stomach. From there, the liquid passes into the intestines. Throughout its travels inside your body, the alcohol seeps through the inner linings of your organs and into your bloodstream. Once in your bloodstream, the alcohol flows with your blood through your veins and arteries.

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