Many states have implied consent laws that provide that licensed drivers must agree to submit to breath tests. As such, if people suspected of DUI refuse to provide breath samples, they often face additional charges and civil penalties. While typically, the failure to conduct a breath test is due to the lack of a driver’s consent, in Colorado, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the unusual situation of police officers refusing to conduct breath tests, which has resulted in the dismissal of many DUI charges. If you are charged with a DUI crime in Illinois, it is wise to speak to a skillful Illinois DUI lawyer about your rights.
COVID-19 Related DUI Complications in Colorado
Allegedly, multiple people charged with DUI crimes in Colorado have had their cases dismissed due to the fact that the police investigating the offenses refused to provide suspects with breath tests. The basis for the refusal was the belief that conducting the tests posed health risks due to the potential of the spread of the coronavirus. While the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has advised that officers can safely conduct such tests during the pandemic, many police agencies in the state are ignoring the Department’s advice and declining to conduct such tests.
It is reported that defense attorneys in Colorado have used the police’s refusal to provide breath tests against the state, arguing that it violates defendants’ rights and should result in the dismissal of charges. Specifically, under Colorado law, drivers suspected of operating a vehicle while intoxicated must be provided the choice of a breath or blood test unless a test is not available because of extraordinary circumstances. Subsequently, there are multiple instances where the court ultimately dismissed DUI charges against drivers who requested breath tests but were denied.
The Burden of Proof in Illinois DUI Cases
Illinois is one of many states that allows a person to be convicted of DUI despite the lack of chemical testing. In other words, under Illinois law, a person can be convicted of a DUI offense for driving while under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances to the degree that it renders him or her unable to drive safely. Additionally, drivers who refuse to submit to breath tests may face license suspensions for one year. Unlike Colorado, though, Illinois drivers do not have a statutory right to a blood or breath test. Thus, it is unclear how the courts would handle a matter in which an investigating officer refused to provide a DUI suspect with the opportunity to undergo chemical testing.
Speak to an Experienced Illinois DUI attorney
Many DUI cases arise out of the results of chemical testing, and people charged with DUI despite the lack of proof of their blood alcohol levels may be able to argue that there is insufficient evidence to prove their guilt. If you are accused of a DUI crime, it is smart to speak with an attorney about your potential defenses. Theodore J. Harvatin, of the Harvatin Law Offices, PC, is an experienced DUI defense attorney who can advise you of your rights and help you to seek the best outcome possible. You can contact Mr. Harvatin by calling 217.525.0520 or through the online form to set up a meeting.