In an Illinois arrest for DUI (Driving under the Influence), law enforcement is entitled to ask you to take a breath or blood test to determine your blood alcohol contents (BAC). 625 ILCS 5/11-501.2 The officer, not the motorist, is entitled to determine which test to offer. Refusing one type of test is considered a refusal of all tests. People v. Kaegebein, 137 Ill. App. 3d 837, 92 Ill. Dec. 656, 485 N.E.2d 467 (2 Dist. 1985); People v. Shaffer, 261 Ill. App. 3d 304, 199 Ill. Dec. 431, 634 N.E.2d 31 (3 Dist. 1994).
A breath or blood test is known as a “chemical test”. Another test the police are entitled to ask you to take is the preliminary breath test screening (PBT). 625 ILCS 5/11-501.5
Before a police officer can initiate a DUI arrest in Illinois, he must have probable cause to believe you have operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. The officer may base his probable cause on general observations such as an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and difficulty locating identification documents and insurance information.
The officer may also employ standardized field sobriety tests, typically the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the walk-and-turn and the one-legged stand. The officer may also use the PBT to help establish probable cause. However, because the PBT is not a certified breath test instrument, the results cannot be used in a DUI prosecution. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.5
A blood test can be used in two different ways. It may be the basis for imposing a driver’s license suspension. The blood test may also be used as tool to convict of DUI, which is the criminal case.
On the 46th day after you submit to a chemical test that shows a BAC of .08 or more, your driver’s license is subject to a suspension for a period of 6 months if you have not had a DUI arrest in the previous 5 years and 12 months if you have. Upon refusing to take a test, you face a suspension of one year, or three years if it’s been fewer than five years since your prior offense.
A suspension is a temporary invalidation of your driver’s license. When the suspension ends, your license becomes valid again, unless it is invalid for some other reason.
One reason is may be invalid is a DUI conviction. A conviction will result in your driver’s license being terminated, along with a waiting period before you can ask for it to be restored. 625 ILCS 5/6-205 But unlike a suspended license, which is returned automatically after the waiting period, the end of a revocation waiting period simply means that you are then entitled to ask for a new license.
The asking process is accomplished through an administrative hearing with the Secretary of State. The waiting period may be 1, 5 or 10 years. 625 ILCS 5/6-208
A driver’s license may be suspended, or it may be revoked, or it may be suspended and revoked. In some situations, you may be entitled to request a restricted driving permit (RDP) during a suspension, but at other times you may not. There are also times where you can request an RDP before the revocation waiting period has ended, but not always.
Any blood test administered to you must comply with the State Police regulations found at 20 Illinois Administrative Code, §1286.10. Blood tests can also be administered to a driver who unconscious or otherwise unable to provide a proper breath sample or who does not have the physical capacity to refuse.