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Understanding Illinois DUI Traffic Stops

Last updated on July 8, 2024

When facing a DUI traffic stop in Illinois, understanding your rights and the procedures involved can significantly impact your case.

My name is attorney Peter George O’Connor, and I have years of experience representing DUI clients in Will and DuPage counties and across Illinois. Leveraging my vast experience both inside and outside the courtroom, I provide my clients with invaluable legal guidance and aggressive representation, aiming for the most favorable outcome in every case.

What Methods Do Police Use To Determine DUI Probable Cause?

Probable cause requires a reasonable basis for believing that a person is committing or has committed a crime. It’s a step beyond the “reasonable suspicion” basis for a traffic stop. In Illinois, police officers use several methods to establish probable cause in the context of a DUI arrest:

  • Erratic driving, including swerving, speeding or abrupt lane changes, among other things
  • Standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs): Tests like the walk-and-turn, one-leg stand and horizontal gaze nystagmus assess a driver’s coordination, balance and cognitive abilities
  • Chemical blood alcohol level tests: A breathalyzer or blood test measures a driver’s blood alcohol content, providing direct evidence of impairment

I carefully analyze the details of each case I take, looking for any potential weaknesses or procedural errors.

Do You Have To Take A Sobriety Test?

In Illinois, you are not required to take a standardized field sobriety test (SFST), and refusal cannot be used against you in court. However, refusing a chemical blood alcohol test (breathalyzer or blood test) triggers automatic license suspension under implied consent laws.

What Happens If You Refuse A Field Sobriety Test?

In Illinois, refusing a standardized field sobriety test (SFST) is within your legal rights. However, this refusal may lead the officer to rely on other observations or tests, such as a chemical blood alcohol test, to establish probable cause for a DUI arrest.

Defense Strategies For Stop And Testing

An experienced DUI attorney can employ various defense strategies regarding the stop and testing:

  • Challenging the legitimacy of the traffic stop
  • Challenging the probable cause of the arrest
  • Questioning the accuracy of the chemical testing
  • Looking for procedural violations

I will explore all available options to protect your rights throughout your DUI case.

Get In Touch Today

For personalized guidance on your DUI case, schedule a free consultation with me. Call PGO Law Firm at 630-912-5051 or reach out online today to get started.