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


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