In Illinois, DUI (Driving Under the Influence) cover driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. There is a longstanding misconception that you can only be charged with DUI when under the influence of alcohol, but it is common for a DUI to occur due to illegal drugs and even prescription drugs.
This is because DUI at its core is concerned with a person’s inability to operate their vehicle safely due to the fact that they are under the influence.
DUI charges are brought when an officer gathers evidence to prove that you weren’t driving safely, you’re unable to drive safely, and that you are indeed under the influence.
Officers gather evidence for DUI charges at traffic stops and this is done by administering a Breathalyzer test, a field sobriety test, and occasionally a blood test.
If you choose to object to the blood test or Breathalyzer, the court can still use evidence in the form of the arresting officer’s testimony or police report. This may include details regarding anything they witnessed including sporadic driving, speeding, crossing over the line, going through stop signs or stoplights, etc. The officer’s report may include additional information that may be used against you such as how you behaved, what odors were observed, and anything else that was seen.
In Illinois, the “driving” aspect of driving under the influence in a DUI charge goes beyond the single act of operating a motor vehicle. DUI in Illinois includes any actions that are related to being in actual physical control of the vehicle.
For example, consider the following situation: You have been out drinking and realize after a bit of driving that you are feeling the effects of the alcohol more than you anticipated. You pull off to the side of the road to take a quick nap or let the intoxication wear off when a little while later, a State Trooper spots your car and approaches it. The trooper sees you in the car and sees that you are in possession of the car’s keys, and therefore observes that you are in physical control of the vehicle. The officer asks you questions and performs roadside tests, ultimately determining that you are under the influence. At this point, even though you had not been found driving, you can be charged with DUI.
Do I Have To Give A Breath Or Blood Sample During A Dui Or Dwi Arrest In Cook County Or Dupage County?
Your requirement to take any test will not be affected by the county that you are in. DUI and DWI laws are formed at a state level and therefore applicable and uniform in every county within the state of Illinois.
In any county, you are not required to submit to a Breathalyzer test. In fact, you are not required to submit to any sobriety tests, including blood tests and roadside assessments.
The only time you may be unwillingly subjected to one of these tests is in the case that you have been in an accident and are brought to the hospital. Even in this case, the “test” is more the routine procedure of doing blood work, however, these records may be used against you as evidence in a court of law.
You are, in any case wherein you are able, within your rights to refuse treatment whenever you decide.
Your right to refuse any form of sobriety test or medical treatment is as protected as your fifth amendment right to remain silent.
After Being Released From Police Custody, What Are The Most Important Next Steps You Would Want Anyone Who’s Been Charged With Dui To Take?
The most important thing to remember at any point in your DUI charge is to refrain from making any statement and to contact an attorney as quickly as possible.
These steps may be taken even before you are released from custody. Especially because, while in custody, law enforcement will actively attempt to gather evidence to be used against you.
Additionally, field sobriety tests (also known as agility tests) may be conducted at the station and not only at the scene due to road conditions.
Whether law enforcement is asking you for a statement, to sign a form, to perform a breathalyzer, or to participate in any other form of testing, it is in your best interest to remain silent and politely refuse until you can speak with an attorney.
After you have been released from custody, ensure that you have made all necessary arrangements as to your personal life and wellbeing. Once you are taken care of, it is of the utmost importance to contact an attorney as soon as possible.
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