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


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