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Illinois’ Implied Consent Laws: Can I Refuse a DUI Test?

Everyone expresses grief in their own way. But for Chicago resident Cindy Giron, grief may carry serious legal consequences. After returning from a funeral, Giron had blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.246 percent — more than three times the legal limit. She crashed her car into a concrete planter, putting herself and her three passengers in the hospital. Giron was charged with felony aggravated driving under the influence (DUI), and two counts of misdemeanor DUI, with bail set at $10,000. Under Illinois law, anyone with a BAC of 0.08 or higher, or any amount of an illicit drug in their system, risks a DUI charge.

DUI is a serious charge, and it’s important to know your rights. In Illinois, DUI is categorized as a Class A misdemeanor, with a maximum punishment of one year in jail. But a DUI charge may become a felony when other factors are considered, such as whether the accused was driving without a valid driver’s license or past traffic convictions. A felony DUI conviction can result in more than a year in jail.

In Illinois, there is an implied consent law which says if you drive within the state, you agree to give a breath, blood or urine test if requested by law enforcement. If you fail, refuse or do not complete the test, then you face a statutory summary suspension of your driver’s license.

The penalty for refusing or failing to complete the test includes a suspension of your license. Suspensions are meted out as follows:

  • First time offender — one-year suspension
  • Not a first time offender — three-year suspension

License suspension for submitting to and failing the test are as follows:

  • First time offender — six-month suspension
  • Not a first time offender — one-year suspension

The suspension of your driver’s license starts 45 days after you are given the notice of suspension, and it can be challenged under certain circumstances. For example, the officer must advise you of your rights. If this did not occur, you may petition the court to discharge the suspension. Further, if you are a first time offender, you may apply to drive with a Monitoring Device Driving Permit.

A DUI charge is a serious matter – hiring an experienced attorney can help ensure your rights.

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Paul Chatzky
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About Born in Havana, Cuba, Paul Chatzky is fluent in Spanish and English, enabling him to effectively represent a wider range of individuals and businesses. He is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, and is listed among Illinois Super Lawyers, which is a reflection of his high ethical standards and exceptional legal knowledge. As…

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Deborah E. Chatzky
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About Prior to joining the firm as a paralegal, Debbie was employed by major banking institutions as a loan processor and as an executive secretary. Debbie was also employed as an administrative assistant for the Board of Jewish Education. Having majored in Sociology, Debbie graduated from the University of Florida in 1980. Debbie completed her…

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