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Anatomy of a Springfield Illinois DUI arrest

What is the process that leads to being arrested for DUI in Springfield Illinois? What happens after you are arrested?

There are a number of reasons that you may initially encounter law enforcement in connection with the operation of a motor vehicle. Common situations include speeding, improper lane usage (weaving or crossing the centerline or fog line), other erratic driving, equipment violations (light burned out), being involved in an accident- your fault or not, a roadside safety check, a report from someone claiming to have observed you leaving a bar intoxicated, a citizen’s complaint of your supposed erratic driving, or the police randomly run your license plates and you come back suspended or revoked.

Also, the police may come upon you while you are asleep in your car or dozed off behind the wheel in traffic. There may be other reasons but these are the most common.

Now that the police have stopped you, they will be looking for reasons to believe you may be under the influence of alcohol. It all starts, even before you get out of the car, with your breath (odor of alcohol), speech (slurred) and eyes (bloodshot, watery, glassy). The next decision point will probably be whether you have difficulty producing your driver’s license, insurance card and vehicle registration.

At some point during all of this, the officer is going to ask you whether you have been drinking, or how much have you had to drink. If you answer “no” or “none” he will challenge you by claiming he smells it on your breath.


Next, you will be ordered to step out of your vehicle. The officer will note if you had any difficulty doing so. Once you are out of the vehicle, he will notice if you are swaying, unsteady on your feet or use the vehicle to balance yourself.

After that, the officer will attempt to persuade you to perform the standardized field sobriety tests (SFST). The officer generally employs “friendly talk” (“go ahead and take these tests and if you pass to see if it’s ok for you to get yourself down the road”). Those tests will include the HGN
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Upon completing all those tests, you will be offered the portable breath test (PBT). The results of the PBT are not admissible in the DUI case itself, but they can be used to establish that the officer had a reason to arrest you for DUI.

Once you are arrested for a DUI in Springfield Illinois, you will be taken to the county jail on Ninth Street. There you will be asked to submit to a breath test. If you take the test and register over the legal limit of .08, you will probably receive two DUI charges, one being driving under the influence and the other being driving with a blood alcohol level greater than .08. If you refuse the test, you will be only be charge with driving under the influence. If you take the test and register under .08, you may not be charged at all, but the police can still charge you with driving under the influence.

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