Can Breathalyzer Test Results Be Wrong?

Web Admin - Thursday, February 11, 2016

breathalyzer test results, Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney Many people who are facing DUI charges wonder if there was something wrong with the breathalyzer device they used when they were pulled over and arrested. How likely is it that breathalyzers give false positive readings? 

While breathalyzer testing is more accurate than other subjective field sobriety tests, breathalyzer tests can still be incorrect or inaccurate. If you believe that the breathalyzer test results that you gave prior to your DUI arrest are inaccurate, it is imperative to secure legal representation immediately.

Breathalyzer Testing

When you are pulled over in Illinois, and the police officer has a reasonable suspicion that you are intoxicated behind the wheel, the officer can administer a breathalyzer test. A breathalyzer test is a chemical test that assesses how much alcohol vapor is on the breath of the individual taking the test. This data generally correlates to an individual’s blood alcohol concentration level. 

Under Illinois’ Zero Tolerance law, 625 ILCS 5/11-501.8, any underaged driver who has a blood alcohol concentration reading of 0.01 or higher will lose his or her license and be arrested. Under Illinois DUI laws for individuals over the age of 21, 625 ILCS 5/11-501, drivers with a BAC of 0.08 are presumed to be driving while under the influence of alcohol.  

Illinois is an implied consent state, meaning that by using the roads in Illinois a driver automatically consents to be subjected to chemical testing when suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. Individuals do have a right to refuse a breathalyzer test, but there are steep consequences for refusal. For instance, when a person refuses to take a breathalyzer test, his or her driver’s license is automatically suspended in accordance with 625 ILCS 5/6-203.1. 

Why Can Breathalyzer Test Results Be Incorrect?

There are a number of reasons why breathalyzer test results can be inaccurate. If one of the following scenarios applies to you and your breathalyzer test, you should consult with your DUI criminal defense lawyer to see if you can build a viable defense based on your situation. Breathalyzer test results could be inaccurate because:

- The breathalyzer device may be malfunctioning;

- Law enforcement improperly administered the test;

- Law enforcement failed to calibrate the breathalyzer device before it was used;

- You may have a health condition that makes you give a false reading on a breathalyzer test; or

- You consumed or used alcohol, but not of the type that could make you drunk or unable to operate a vehicle. Examples might include:

- Consuming cough medicines that contain high levels of alcohol;

- Wearing certain lip plumpers on your lips;

- Using certain vaping products (i.e., electronic cigarettes or e-cigs), which contain alcohol and can be so concentrated on the breath of a user that the user can produce a measurable reading on a breathalyzer; and

- Using certain mouthwash or breath sprays, which can artificially raise a person’s breath alcohol content. 

If you are facing DUI charges or you have reason to believe that the chemical testing administered to you prior to your or DUI arrest is inaccurate, please speak with an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney today. Our firm serves the communities of the northwest suburbs, including Inverness, Arlington Heights, Long Grove, Barrington, South Barrington, Riverwoods, and Mount Prospect. 





What Happens if You Fail a Field Sobriety Test, and What Happens if You Refuse

Web Admin - Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Illinois breathalyzer fail, Barrington DUI lawyerThe State of Illinois considers drunk driving to be a serious crime, and imposes high penalties for people found guilty of it. Often, drunk drivers are caught during a traffic stop after taking a breathalyzer test or failing a field sobriety test. Field sobriety tests are a battery of heuristic, qualitative examinations, like requiring the driver to stand on one foot for a certain period of time or to walk heel to toe.

However, drivers are not required to take these field sobriety tests because they qualify as a search under the Fourth Amendment. Additionally, these sorts of tests are not covered by Illinois' implied consent law. The implied consent law states that operating a motor vehicle is a privilege, not a right, and that by driving, a person consents to have his or her breath, blood, or urine tested for alcohol. This means that, while there are penalties for refusing one of those tests, those penalties do not apply to field sobriety tests. There is one exception to this rule, however. If a person has been issued a registry card for the state's new medical marijuana program, then the implied consent law does extend to field sobriety tests.

Penalties for Failure

Courts often view failing a field sobriety test as evidence that a person was driving under the influence. This evidence can often be strengthened by the police taking a chemical test. If either test proves to the court's satisfaction that the driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeded 0.08 percent, then that person triggers the DUI penalties in Illinois. A first offense comes with a maximum fine of $2,500 along with a potential jail sentence of up to one year. Additionally, a first offender's license may be suspended for a minimum of six months.

These penalties increase for repeat offenders, with the license suspension going up to a five-year minimum for a second offense. A third DUI triggers a 10-year suspension and a prison sentence of between three and seven years. Additionally, every DUI offense comes with the penalty of having an ignition interlock device installed in the offender's car, which functions as a breathalyzer test to turn the car on.

Penalties for Refusal

Refusing to take the field sobriety tests does not trigger any penalties, unless the driver has been issued a medical marijuana registry card. However, there are penalties for refusing to take a chemical test. These penalties start at a one-year summary suspension of a person's driver's license. Additionally, if a person has previously had a suspension or a DUI conviction in the past year, then the penalty increases up to a three-year suspension.

DUI charges are a serious sanction in Illinois that can have long-lasting consequences. If you have recently been charged, seek help from an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney. Our firm defends the rights of clients across the northwest suburbs, including in Barrington, Rolling Meadows, and Des Plaines.

About the Author: Founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, Colin Gilbert, received his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of law in 2005. Colin argues cases across many practice areas including criminal defense, collections, civil litigation, real estate law, and corporate law. Colin is an active member of the Board of Governors of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association and the Illinois Creditors Bar Association. He is currently Vice President of the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce, and is a Commissioner for the Village of Arlington Heights. Colin has a 10.0 Attorney rating on Avvo, and was named one of the 2014 “Top 40 Under 40” Trial Lawyers in Illinois by the National Trial Lawyers Association.

Recent Posts


Des Plaines personal injury lawyer South Barrington real estate lawyer Rolling Meadows tax attorney Palatine construction attorney Illinois employee rights attorney. Illinois bicycle safety Palatine employment law lawyer Illinois corporate lawyer Crystal Lake tax lawyer Barrington employment law firm Home Sale Contingencies life insurance lawyer Deer Park personal injury lawyer Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer cell phone accidents Illinois tax attorney Chicago lawyer Mount Prospect elder law attorney construction accidents trench injuries overtime violations Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance attorney tax attorney personal injury claims digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers surgical mistakes Barrington estate planning attorney Illinois law Chicago employment lawyer Crystal Lake employment lawyer Home Remodeling Repair Act personal injury attorney Palatine business attorney Palatine employment lawyer Des Plaines pet law attorney liens irrevocable trust pet law changes to mortgage law Illinois speeding lawyer Colin Gilbert Barrington medical malpractice lawyers hands free device murder charges Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney caregiver Schaumburg employment attorney ObamaCare Illinois insurance claim attorney Illinois employment law attorneys insurance claim insurance negligence Illinois insurance attorney hit and run accident Deer Park workers compensation lawyer Family Medical Leave Act probate process appealing an insurance claim personal injury law firm Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer pay when paid contract Illinois paid sick leave pain and suffering traffic violations defense Schaumburg injury lawyer Arlington Heights employment attorney Illinois insurance disputes gift taxes Des Plaines claims law firm medical malpractice unauthorized overtime unpaid overtime probate claims process Mount Prospect real estate lawyer Barrington attorney Illinois estate planning law firm wage theft living trust vs will Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer real estate contract loss of consortium motorcycle accident lawyer Barrington boating accident attorney Des Plaines drug lawyer Crystal Lake traffic attorney DGAA Des Plaines accident attorney Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer Illinois civil litigation lawyer insurance disputes Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers Barrington criminal defense lawyer medication errors Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer new real estate form Illinois personal injury lawyer criminal Palatine punch death traffic offenses Inverness elder law lawyer pedestrian-automobile accident Jay Andrew GM ignition switches Retaliatory Discharge unpaid assessment Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney child safety Landlord Tenant Ordinance job lawyers product liability Detainer Actions Barrington personal injury attorney Des Plaines personal injury attorney pedestrian accidents Palatine probate lawyer Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys workers comp Palatine estate planning lawyer Schaumburg civil litigation attorney brain injury Illinois wills and trusts FSLA IRA trust transfer blood alcohol content Inverness real estate attorney special needs trust Illinois medical malpractice lawyers Chicago estate planning lawyer drug crimes lawyer marijuana caretaker rights landlord tenant law IRA benefits Illinois small business denied insurance claims Inverness injury lawyer attorney fees Fair Labor Standards Act Crystal Lake employment law attorney criminal law right to work institutional trustee traffic crimes car accident lawyer Illinois traffic laws operating agreements deed transfer Whistleblower Claims Illinois pet lawyer dog bites Arlington Heights lawyer employee rights elder law unfunded trust car crashes Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers hiring employees field sobriety test murder defense living trust benefits Illinois injury lawyer agent personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys Kenilworth estate planning attorney real estate attorneys Crystal Lake law firm Illinois rollover accident lawyers PTSD Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys BAC estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers jet ski accidents investment property car collision trucking accident lawyers Palatine criminal defense lawyer Rolling Meadows employment law attorney Chicago trucking accident attorney Rolling Meadows employment attorney sexual harassment Illinois collections attorney Crystal Lake car accident attorney Illinois lawyer Arlington Heights TBI attorney contracts federal regulations for LLCs car crash injuries first degree murder Illinois estate planning attorney cell phone estate planning trusts Schaumburg criminal law attorney drug possession installment contracts Rolling Meadows traffic law firm Schaumburg Attorney breathalyzer test Buffalo Grove traffic attorney breach of contract Illinois medical malpractice claim personal injury Illinois attorney Rolling Meadows real estate attorney boating under the influence Des Plaines real estate lawyer Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer Chicago employment attorney Do Not Resuscitate Schaumburg drug defense lawyer commercial leasing Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer small business Barrington employment law attorney Palatine elder law attorney car accidents Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, Illinois workers compensation attorney living trust Arlington Heights injury attorney traffic violations natural gas explosion Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer Des Plaines insurance attorney medical malpractice compensation Long Grove estate planning attorneys Des Plaines real estate attorney probate claims traffic laws criminal record Palatine drug lawyer Deer Park real estate law firm Des Plaines civil attorney Illinois employment law Deer Park employment law attorney Class A misdemeanor Self-Directed IRA Accounts Schaumburg insurance lawyers criminal defense insurance attorney Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute privacy Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer Long Grove real estate lawyer Palatine traffic accidents Palatine injury attorney sexual images Illinois employment law firm insurance claim denials Arlington Heights car accident lawyer estate planning attorney civil rights violation landlord driving foreclosed rental property Crystal Lake traffic lawyer pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer minimum wage financial advisors Inverness traffic law firm Des Plaines DUI attorney slip and fall insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys disability benefits Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers motorcycle accident Schaumburg estate planning attorney employment contract estate attorney LLCs Inverness DUI lawyer Deer Park criminal attorney income distribution deducation Palatine corporate law attorneys consent to a search Forcible Entry bicycle dooring accidents distracted driving accidents Palatine law firm Illinois business law atorneys Illinois pedestrian accident attorney healthcare claims Long Grove estate planning attorney Buffalo Grove employment lawyer Schaumburg real estate lawyer loopholes Chicago traffic lawyer Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer home inspection lawyer FMLA Illinois mortgages Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney estate planning Illinois workers compensation lawyer DUI defense Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer spinal cord injuries estate planning for college students license suspension natural gas Exclusions estate tax spinal cord injury Long Grove real estate attorney Rolling Meadows Attorney Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act probate Illinois job attorney insurance adjusters car crash Arlington Heights traffic attorney Illinois DUI attorney underage DUI DUI penalities residential real estate social media after death IRELA homestead rights School Visitation Rights Act Crystal Lake accident attorney head on collisions drunk driving Schaumburg elder abuse Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys rent to own real estate contracts life insurance Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney Deer Park DUI lawyer personal injury claim Illinois employment lawyer Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act Illinois trusts attorney Arlington Heights Attorney Schaumburg elder law lawyer estate planning lawyer Arlington Heights car crash attorneys Illinois wrongful termination lawyer Illinois red light cameras Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney underfunded trust license revocation traumatic brain injury Chicago insurance law firm real estate closing icy parking lots Illinois real estate lawyer Illinois personal injury lawyers Crystal Lake injury attorney medical malpractice claims BUI Schaumburg wrongful death attorney Barrington personal injury lawyer murder Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers startup company Kenilworth estate planning attorneys Inverness probate lawyer Schaumburg employment law attorneys Deer Park traffic lawyer Arlington Heights trucking lawyer Illinois traffic attorney trusts senior citizens workers compensation benefits owner responsibility Crystal Lake car accident lawyer Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer Crystal Lake employment attorney insurance denials commercial leases denied insurance claim Des Plaines injury law firm TBI condo association Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer Arlington Heights employment law attorneys real estate clemency work unions Long Grove estate planning llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association DUI attorney power of attorney Buffalo Grove probate lawyer employment attorney Palatine corporate attorney health insurance dispute license reinstatement Illinois workplace discrimination attorney Affordable Care Act civil litigation attorney Arlington Heights criminal lawyer trustee Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney Illinois insurance lawyer taxes compensatory time Des Plaines tax law firm Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers liability insurance dispute Illinois insurance dispute lawyers Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney Barrington real estate lawyer internet Barrington litigation attorney crossover accidents Chicago attorney Schaumburg personal injury attorney Chicago estate planning employee discrimination Des Plaines criminal attorney premises liability modern family estate planning subcontractor auto accidents Illinois medical malpractice case employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys Inverness estate planning lawyer meal breaks jet ski underinsured motorist Barrington workers compensation attorney college kids drug crime wrongful death forming a corporation in Illinois Illinois jet ski accident lawyer business litigation healthcare Palatine civil attorney probate lawyer fault based insurance traffic accidents Schaumburg traffic lawyer pet bites Buffalo Grove law firm Schaumburg construction accident lawyer Schaumburg probate attorney employment law Palatine trusts lawyer Fourth of July Des Plaines Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission Barrington drug crime attorney slip and fall accidents Inverness accident lawyer rollover accidents wrongful termination Inverness insurance attorney CAM Palatine personal injury lawyer comp time Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer real estate leasing insurance claims Illinois Smoke Detector Act comparative negligence car accident lawyers Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney Des Plaines collections attorney medical marijuana wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace commercial real estate Palatine civil litigation lawyer civil litigation advance healthcare directive power of attorney for healthcare Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer Arlington Heights insurance attorney Illinois traffic accident lawyer Illinois construction accident attorney rumble strips Rolling Meadows probate lawyer trauma after an accident Illinois home inspection Illinois car accident attorney bicycle accidents Palatine real estate lawyer Schaumburg personal injury lawyers personal injury lawyer Mt Prospect Attorney Illinois personal injury attorney Deer Park medical malpractice attorney Palatine employment attorney liability claims Illinois personal injury Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer life insurance claims Chicago car accident lawyer Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney Buffalo Grove real estate attorney Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer Deer Park traffic accident attorney texting while driving Illinois employment attorneys Crystal Lake pet attorney preventable medical errors Arlington Heights tax lawyer estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, traffic tickets Arlington Heights accident attorney marijuana crimes attorney foreclosure reckless homicide Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm Illinois Probate Act of 1975 wills and trusts Schaumburg personal injury lawyer eluding a police officer back injuries drug crimes boating accidents Illinois employment law attorney filing a medical malpractice claim Illinois boating accident lawyer personal injury accidents digital assets Liquor Control Act gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys revenge porn Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers accidental death benefits Colin H. Gilbert Transfer on Death Instrument overtime pay denial of life insurance bad faith insurance claims federal crimes employee misclassification Buffalo Grove corporate attorney Schaumburg criminal attorney Policy Cancellation Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer living wills Illinois Sales Representative Act Chicago will attorney drugs Barrington injury attorney insurance denial appeals cell phone tower data Employment Discrimination Law Illinois traffic ticket lawyer South Barrington real estate attorney nursing home negligence real estate attorney corporate law involuntary manslaughter uninsured motorist Illinois workplace lawyer mortgage Crystal Lake business law attorneys distracted driving accident victims wills Illinois driving without license Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer Illinois criminal defense attorney workers compensation pregnant women Barrington criminal lawyer food poisoning mass shooting Illinois elder law attorney vacation home fines BAIID medical research Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer dram shop law boating DUI POA Super Mario expungement Crystal Lake will lawyer holiday statistics Illinois probate lawyer rollover car crashes Chicago biking tips texting and driving Palatine workers compensation lawyer employment law, Illinois employment laws pedestrian accident insurance claim denial Rolling Meadows digital information insurance claim dispute attorney problem employees vacation home Illinois real estate medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers fiduciary rule defective products Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, Illinois estate planning Inverness personal injury attorney insurance claim delay insurance agents traumatic brain injuries Inverness real estate lawyer insurance agent negligence Attorney Ken Apicella Palatine traffic lawyer Illinois medical malpractice attorney ACA independent contractor IRS creditors dynasty trusts Illinois will lawyer Rolling Meadows accident lawyer low-ball insurance settlement DUI manufacturing fatal car accidents Thanksgiving controlled substance Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act employees whistleblower protections Des Plaines personal injury lawyers products liability probate fees Chicago insurance claim attorneys DMV Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer Barrington business law firm guardianship attorney Kenilworth estate planning lawyer Arlington Heights real estate lawyer Legal Info drunk driving statistics real estate zoning pizza emoji insurance claim dispute Illinois traffic attorneys workplace sexual harassment deadly crashes preventing accidents Illinois trucking safety construction contracts traffic deaths Crystal Lake personal injury attorney Schaumburg car accident attorney insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys Illinois living will trust payments privacy laws no contest clauses construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation Barrington employment attorney Illinois business lawyer Arlington Heights estate planning attorney Palatine insurance lawyer Illinois LLC creation automated cars Deer Park accident attorney Rolling Meadows business lawyer bike accident sole proprietorship golf accidents capital gains tax Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers Rolling Meadows criminal attorney severance agreements Inverness corporate attorney Chicago corporate attorney trucking accidents employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, rest breaks car accident fiduciary rule delay Joliet general practice lawyers suspended license Riverwoods estate planning lawyer swimming pools Rolling Meadows traffic attorney Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument Illinois employment laws Illinois insurance claims lawyers Illinois Human Rights Act Schaumburg estate planning lawyer Illinois wills and trusts attorneys digital evidence anesthesia errors Illinois defective products attorney in terrorem provision truck collisions employment lawyer speeding condo Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers insurance dispute attorney Schaumburg estate attorney dealing with problem employees defective products lawyer life insurance policy license Barrington estate planning lawyer Crystal Lake insurance lawyer Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer Buffalo Grove injury lawyer Barrington civil litigation attorney Inverness civil lawyer blended families Illinois registered agent Barrington Traffic Lawyer Palatine Attorney ken apicella real estate lawyer DNR Schaumburg corporate attorney estate plan