By: Martin Quintana, Founder and Managing Partner
As the holidays approach, we find ourselves surrounded with cheer and joy…and also a lot of alcohol. There is one DUI arrest for every 137 licensed drivers in the United States. Chances are most of us know someone that has had a DUI, and the number of DUI’s tend to increase around the holiday season.
-Don’t Drink and Drive
Just don’t do it. It’s not worth the consequences of fines, losing your license, or a potential accident.
-Your Blood Alcohol Count (BAC) has nothing to do with alcohol tolerance.
It doesn’t really matter how you feel. Even if you feel ‘tipsy’ or ‘buzzed’, and think you’re ok to drive, your BAC is an objective reading of how much alcohol is in your blood stream. Your alcohol tolerance rises and falls with the frequency of one’s drinking, but the BAC remains constant, and dependent on how many drinks you’ve consumed.
In fact, the measuring number for DUI’s in Illinois is .08%, which is a very small amount of alcohol; so much so, that you may not feel any effect at all.
-Police Officers are trained to notice even subtle signs of alcohol consumption.
If a police officer pulls you over- they may look for alcohol side effects: this is anything from the smell of alcohol on your breath, glossy eyes, to slurred speech. If the officer has reason to believe you have been drinking, he may ask you to take a Field Sobriety Test (FST). These tests are meant to measure if your balance, coordination, and comprehension are impaired by alcohol.
-There are 2 types of breath tests for a DUI.
One breath test is given before the arrest, and at the site you were pulled over, and the other is given after the arrest, and usually given at the police station.
Test 1-Portable Breath Test
You can refuse to take the pre-arrest, portable breath test. However, once you’ve refused this test you will most likely be placed under arrest and taken to the police station.
*Remember: you have the RIGHT to refuse this test and it is in your best interest to REFUSE THIS TEST.
Test 2- Chemical test
At the police station, you will be asked to take another test.
Illinois has an implied consent law, which means the state of Illinois requires you to take a breath, blood, or urine test if you arrested for a DUI.
If you refuse to submit to this test, you may be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension.
Ultimately, the best rule is call a cab and not risk it. Be safe and happy holidays.