Breath Test

Located in Springfield, Harvatin Law Offices provides dedicated and knowledgeable representation in all matters of driver’s license hearings. Focused extensively on driver’s license reinstatement proceedings, the firm has been a hub of relief to drivers throughout Illinois. After 15 years as a Secretary of State hearing officer, Mr. Harvatin continues to prove that legal talent does not have to come from the city. Located steps away from the hearing facility, Harvatin Law Offices offers personal service and reasonable rates to in and out-of-state drivers.

Breath Mechanics and Overview

The breath test is by far the most popular way to test blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in drivers. While its reliability is questionable, breath tests provide a more convenient and less intrusive way of measuring BAC.

A person’s BAC is measured as mass per volume. A BAC of 0.08%, for example, means there are 0.08 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or 0.08 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath

Breath machines use any of the following reactions to detect BAC:

  • Semiconductor oxide sensors oxide ethanol in low-volume samples
  • Fuel cell testers measure BAC by creating a chemical reaction that oxidizes the alcohol in the sample and produces an electrical current. A high current means a high BAC
  • Spectrophotometer technology identifies ethanol by the way it absorbs infrared light. Each color change reflects a different BAC. This is the test used in most police stations and is more accurate than “portable” breath tests administered at the scene of traffic stop

Illinois DUI Laws

Most states, including Illinois, have implied-consent laws that assume drivers who refuse to submit to chemical testing upon request by police have something to hide. The Illinois Secretary of State will suspend your license if you refuse-even if you have not had a drop to drink.

In fact, penalties are harsher for drivers who refuse to take the test. If a breath test registers a BAC greater than .08%, there is a 6-month suspension period for first-time offenders and a 12-month suspension for a second offender.

But those who refuse the breath test are subject to being suspended for one year for a first offense and three years for a second. Nevertheless, first time offenders may have a better chance fighting the charge by refusing to take the chemical breath test, then obtaining counsel to properly defend their refusal in court.

What To Do If Police Request A Breath Test

Illinois police cannot ask for a breath test unless they have reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot. Driving on the wrong side of the road, swerving between lanes, and traffic violations are all grounds to stop you and are also an early suggestion of possible intoxication.

If police further observe bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, or open containers of alcohol, they may request a test. However, a regular traffic offense does not give them the right to search your car or seize personal property.

If you believe the stop was unreasonable or do not know what to do, call an experienced DUI or driver's license hearing lawyer for help. Do not be afraid to refuse a field sobriety test or a portable breath test administered at the scene of the arrest. These are almost always inaccurate, but may be used as evidence against you.

Seek Legal Representation Immediately

If you have been arrested or convicted of DUI, the experienced Illinois driver’s license hearing attorney at Harvatin Law Offices can help. At times of crisis, you do not need big-city swagger; you need a local, knowledgeable advocate who is focused on protecting your rights.

After 15 years as a hearing officer, Mr. Harvatin is a reliable and hard-working ally to have at your side during reinstatement proceedings. Prevent future heartache and unnecessary expenses by contacting Harvatin Law Offices today. Call (800) 829-8513 today for a confidential consultation or contact us online.

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