If Stopped for a DUI Don’t Incriminate Yourself

When questioned by a police officer, do not make any statements which could incriminate you.

Police officers are skilled in asking questions. You are not skilled in answering an officer’s questions. Do not provide a statement which you feel is harmless, such as: “Officer Smith, I had only one beer.”

Until the officer arrests you, the officer has no obligation to advise you of your rights under Miranda, and any statement you make can be used against you. This statement informs the officer that you had consumed alcohol, and may prompt the officer to ask you to perform field sobriety tests and to submit to a breathalyzer test. This statement could also be used against you in Court. Only provide information concerning your name, address and any information contained on your driver’s license. Simply inform the police officer that you respectfully decline to provide any statements. Exercise your right to remain silent.

SHOULD I TAKE A BREATHALYZER OR FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS?

Respect the police officer’s authority, and conduct yourself in a respectful manner toward the officer. Police officers, like you, will not respond favorably to disrespect.

Politely and respectfully refuse the one leg stand and walking heel-to-toe in a straight line field sobriety tests. These tests are very difficult to satisfactorily complete whether or not you have been consuming alcohol.  The officer, who will demonstrate the tests first and make the tests seem easy, has practiced these exercises many times as part of his job.  Do not take the test that requires you, without moving your head, to track the officer’s finger or pen from side to side with your eyes (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus or HGN). Politely refuse to take the on-the-scene portable breath test.  The results of these tests can be used against you in court.

Politely and respectfully refuse to undergo breath or chemical testing, unless you are sure you will test less than .08.  The legal limit for a DUI based on drugs is the presence of any narcotic substance.

A breathalyzer result under the legal limit of .08 does not mean you will avoid a DUI charge.  If you refuse breath or chemical testing, more severe license suspension penalties will be imposed. If you are under 21 years of age, a breathalyzer reading under .08 may still result in a Zero Tolerance citation.

WHAT IS A ZERO TOLERANCE CITATION?

In Illinois, an individual under the age of 21 is prohibited from purchasing, accepting, possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages.  Individuals who violate this law will receive a Zero Tolerance citation.

Penalties include fines, suspension or revocation of driving privileges, possible jail time, mandatory alcohol evaluation and treatment.  At the discretion of the court, a person under age 21 may receive court supervision, which includes in a mandatory 3 month license suspension in addition to other court assigned requirements.  After you perform all of the court’s requirements at the end of your supervision period, the charges against you will be dismissed.