If law enforcement stops you on suspicion of DUI, the officer will likely encourage you to take a breath test either onsite or at the police station.
You have the right to refuse to participate in such a test but there are consequences, such as losing your driving privileges.
Understanding the breath tests
Title 20 of the Illinois Administrative Code, Part 1286, explains alcohol testing in great detail. A Preliminary Breath Screening Test is usually given at the site where law enforcement stops you, while a post-arrest Evidentiary Breath Test takes place at the police station. A certified Breath Analysis Operator is in charge of the latter and the resulting test results can serve as evidence against you in court.
If an officer pulls you over on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, he or she cannot force you to take a test. The decision to comply or not to comply depends on circumstances. If you are a first-time offender, you stand to lose your driving privileges for one year if you refuse to take a breath test. However, that time goes down to six months if you consent to take the test and the results show that your BAC level is .08% or above. Keep in mind that you will probably be able to obtain a driving permit to use during the suspension period.
An arrest for DUI is an unnerving experience. Before you make any decisions, such as whether to submit to a breath test, you should have sound guidance. Remember that a conviction for DUI can adversely affect the goals you set for yourself and you want the best outcome possible for your case.