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Your Right to Refuse a Field Sobriety Test in Illinois

In Illinois, you have the right to refuse a field sobriety test if you are pulled over by the police on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). This means that if a law enforcement officer requests that you take a field sobriety test, such as walking in a straight line, one-leg stand test, or reciting the alphabet backward, you can decline and not take the test.

Contact DUI Lawyers 24/7 if you have been charged with any further questions you may have. Whether you took or declined the field sobriety tests we can help you case. Call us at 847-999-7616 to schedule a free consultation with a Kane County DUI attorney.

Types of Field Sobriety Tests in Illinois

In Illinois, the police may ask you to participate in a field sobriety test if they suspect that you have been driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Common field sobriety tests are designed to measure your balance, coordination, and other physical abilities, which can be impaired by alcohol or drug use.

These standardized tests are usually administered roadside after an officer has pulled you over for suspicion of driving while intoxicated:

Walk and Turn Tests

In Illinois, you have the right to refuse a field sobriety test. One of these tests to validate legal intoxication is known as the walk-and-turn test. This test requires that you take nine heel-to-toe steps on a straight line, turn, and then take nine more heel-to-toe steps back. You will be asked to count each step as you go and keep your arms at your sides.

One-Legged Stand Tests

The One Leg Stand is one of the three standardized field sobriety tests used by police officers to gauge your intoxication levels. This test involves an officer telling a suspect to stand with their feet together and then raising one leg while counting for 30 seconds. The officer looks for specific clues, such as an inability to keep balance or arms moving too much, that can indicate intoxication.

a man performing a field sobriety test on the side of the road

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Tests

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) is a roadside sobriety test frequently employed in Illinois by officers to assess impairment caused by alcohol or drugs when there is reasonable suspicion.

The test involves an officer asking the subject to follow the movement of a small object, such as a pen, with their eyes. The officer will look for indications that the person’s eyes are jerking or twitching, which can be a sign of impairment in a drunk driver.

Can You Refuse a Field Sobriety Test in Illinois?

In Illinois, individuals can refuse a field sobriety test, but there may be legal consequences. Police officers in Illinois can administer field testing during a traffic stop if they suspect you are drunk driving while intoxicated above the legal limit. You have the right to refuse these kinds of tests in Illinois.

If you choose to refuse, be polite and cooperative with the officer. Inform them that you are declining the test due to your legal rights. However, based on other evidence the officer may still arrest you and bring you to the police station. 

Impaired driving is a serious offense with severe consequences, so it is advisable to seek legal representation from an experienced criminal defense lawyer if charged.

In Illinois, you can say no if asked for a field sobriety test during a drunk driving traffic stop. Field sobriety tests are used by officers, and they assess if a driver is intoxicated through physical or mental evaluations. However, these tests are not very accurate as sober people can fail them.

These evaluations may include tasks like walking in a straight line or reciting the alphabet. While you have the right in Illinois, refusing a field sobriety test carries consequences. Refusal of a test can lead to an immediate driving license suspension, and it may be used as evidence against you in court for a DUI charge.

You must talk with a knowledgeable drunk driving lawyer before deciding whether or not you should refuse a field sobriety test in Illinois.

What Do Cops Look for During a Sobriety Test?

Law enforcement officers in Illinois rely on clues observed during a sobriety test to determine if a person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

These tests assess an individual's balance, coordination, attention span, and ability to divide their attention between physical and mental tasks. Tasks such as walking in a straight line, counting backward from a specific number, or standing on one leg may be requested to evaluate these abilities.

a police officer conducting a field sobriety test on a driver

The officer will be looking for physical evidence of impairment, such as difficulty maintaining balance, inability to complete tasks, or slurred speech.

What Happens if You Refuse a Field Sobriety Test in Illinois?

Refusing to take a field sobriety test in Illinois can have serious consequences. In most cases, refusal will lead to an automatic arrest and charges for driving under the influence. Additionally, you may refuse breathalyzers, urine tests, and blood tests that measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). While you can still be charged if you refuse these it can help build a defense for some cases.

Call DUI Lawyers 24/7 Now!

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Illinois, it is important to know that you have the right to refuse a field sobriety test.

Field sobriety tests are typically used by law enforcement officers as part of their investigation into whether or not an individual is intoxicated. A refusal to take a field sobriety test can be used against you if you are charged with DUI, so it is important to contact a qualified and experienced DUI lawyer immediately to discuss your rights.

At DUI Lawyers 24/7, we are available to provide you with the legal defense advice, defense strategies, and representation you need.

Call our DUI defense firm today for a free initial consultation.

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