Refusing a Field Sobriety Test in Illinois

Updated on 01/12/2023 / Under

In Illinois when police ask you to pull over because they suspect that you were driving under they can choose to administer a field sobriety test. There are several tests that have been approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA). These approved standardized tests to assess one’s sobriety while on the road are the one-leg stand test, the walk-and-turn test, and the Nystagmus test. Other tests include breathalyzers and blood tests They can use one or all of the tests to determine your sobriety.

The most logical thing to do at that time since you may feel intimidated by an officer of the law is to take the test. However, what most people do not know is that refusing a field sobriety test in Illinois is within their rights. Also, they can refuse to take the test and not have to suffer the prescribed legal consequences.

It is important to note that when you do not take the test it will result in an officer of the law arresting you.  However, if the police officer had stopped you by the side of the road they were already planning to arrest you and they were just waiting to get evidence so they can take you in. A field sobriety test is the best chance that they have of getting substantial evidence.

Failing to take a field sobriety test will reduce the amount of evidence that the authorities can use to incriminate you if you are charged with a driving under the influence offense. Less evidence means that you have a higher likelihood of getting your case dismissed.

What Happens After You Refuse to Take a Field Sobriety Test?

When you are driving a motor vehicle in the state of Illinois it is seen as consent to take tests for alcohol and any other intoxicants or drugs. Simply stated, driving in Illinois shows that you have consented to take chemical testing. Chemical testing, measuring a blood sample, and other field sobriety tests are the most common sobriety tests taken in Illinois.

When you refuse to take a preliminary alcohol screening test it will result in the officer immediately arresting you and taking you to the police station. However, there are as well other consequences. When you refuse to take a roadside sobriety test in Illinois and are convicted of the crime your license will be suspended for a period of one year if it is your first offense.

A man declining a breathalyzer test.

If you choose to take the test on the other hand if you chose to submit a breathalyzer test and the result of the test shows a .08 or above there will be lesser consequences. If it is your first time committing a DUI offense you will be arrested and your license will be suspended for a period of 6 months.

When you don’t take the field sobriety test it will make it harder for the state to prove your guilt. They may still rely on the testimony of witnesses, statement of police saying you had the smell of alcohol on you, your own admission, and other ways that they can use to incriminate you. However, an odor of alcohol and any other evidence without proof may still be hard to prove your guilt if the evidence is not substantial.

Not taking a field sobriety test may result in an arrest. And not taking the test depending on the issues surrounding your case will result in charges against you getting dismissed.

Do You Have To Take A Preliminary Alcohol Test in Illinois

You have an option when a police officer stops you to take a test while in Illinois. You can choose to either take the test or not take the test if the authority asks you to pull over.  However, you should as well be aware of the consequences of refusal. When a police officer arrests you for refusing a field sobriety test you should seek the help of an experienced DUI attorney in Naperville.

If you are wondering who you should call while facing a DUI charge, call Naperville DUI Lawyer. We have represented individuals such as yourself offered them legal advice and helped them avoid charges, suspension of their license that could have resulted in them staining their record long-term.

Why You Should Avoid Taking a Field Sobriety Test in Illinois

Here are some of the reasons why you should avoid taking the Standardized field sobriety test if an officer of the law pulls you over.

The Test May Not be Accurate

Tests used to determine the sobriety of a driver are never 100% accurate in proving the sobriety level and the concentration of alcohol of an individual. An alcohol screening device is prone to error. The individual could be taking other medications that could have affected their blood alcohol concentration to be higher than .08.

Also, the breathalyzer tool could be broken and the chemical blood alcohol test can show the wrong breath alcohol concentration. At times the individual could be unwell and the field sobriety test may point toward them not being sober.

The Police Officer Being Bias or Offering Incorrect Administration

The police officers can taint the field sobriety tests in order for the test to a give a bias result.

Passing the Test Does Not Mean You Are Free

Passing the test does not mean that the police officer will end up letting you go. There are a lot of instances where an individual passes the test and even though their blood alcohol level was normal the police officers have ended up arresting and charging them with a DUI.

It Is Not an Obligation

It Is not an obligation of the law for a driver even if they are a drunk driver to take the test.

You Will be Providing Extra Evidence

A field sobriety test will be giving law enforcement officers the extra evidence that they needed to charge you and prosecute you of a DUI.

It is important to note that instead of exonerating you a field sobriety test has higher chances of incriminating you.

The Best Way to Refuse a Field Sobriety Test in Illinois

You have the right to refuse to take a field sobriety test in Illinois. There is a right way to go about a sobriety test refusal and a wrong way to do it. Your response will determine the outcome of your case. If your response is considered confrontational it could end up hurting your case.

There are a few ways that you can respond to a police officer asking you to take a field sobriety test.

Refusing a Field Sobriety Test in Illinois
  • When the officer asks you to take a field sobriety test you can respond by saying no thank you, sir. Your tone will as well set the pace for how the conversation will proceed.
  • Comply with the officer's requests. If they ask you to produce your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and registration comply and do so without question.
  • Do not be smug. Being proud and arrogant will only give the police leverage over you during trial.
  • Avoid threatening a police officer, raising your voice towards them, and displaying any hostile behavior.
  • Despite the situation that you are in you should remain calm and avoid saying anything that will incriminate you and give the police officer evidence over you.

Even as you remain on your best behavior make sure that you do not let the police officer threaten or scare you into taking the test. They have a legal limit.

Immediately Contact an Experienced DUI Attorney

When you or a person that you know has refused to take a field sobriety test do not be anxious. Contact our DUI defense attorneys in Naperville. Our criminal defense lawyers will help you with the details involving your DUI case. We will walk with you through your arrest, trial and when it comes to it your plea deal negotiations.

Access our free initial consultation and let us help you relax your mind knowing that you have a reliable criminal defense attorney working on your case.

Make that call irrespective of the time. Our DUI lawyer will be there to help you and aggressively defend your case so you can get the best possible outcome. Reach out and get the defense you deserve!