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Do You Automatically Get a DUI if You Blow Over 0.08 in Illinois?

 Posted on December 07, 2021 in DUI

DuPage County Criminal Defense LawyerMost people are familiar with the blood alcohol content (BAC) “legal limit.” In Illinois and 48 other U.S. states, the blood alcohol limit is 0.08 percent. However, few really understand what that means. You may ask yourself, “Does having a BAC over the legal limit mean I will be convicted of drunk driving?” or “Can I beat DUI charges even if I fail a breathalyzer?”

Understanding Breath Alcohol Tests

There are two main types of breath tests or “breathalyzers” used in Illinois. Usually, when a police officer stops someone and recognizes signs of potential intoxication, the officer will ask the driver to blow into a breathalyzer machine. This roadside breath test is different from the breath tests conducted at the police station. Roadside tests are preliminary tests used to justify a drunk driving arrest. However, these tests are not foolproof, and preliminary BAC test results are not admissible as evidence in a DUI case.

The breath test at the police station is an evidentiary test. The results of this test are admissible in court. However, blowing above 0.08 percent does not automatically mean you will be convicted of driving under the influence.

Breathalyzers Can Be Inaccurate

Breath testing devices like breathalyzers are usually reliable, but they are not infallible. The machines must be properly cleaned, calibrated, and maintained in order to work correctly. If the test is not administered correctly or there are problems with the machine, the test results may be inadmissible during the DUI case. Furthermore, the test subject’s health problems, diet, and other factors can yield an inaccurate BAC reading on a breathalyzer.

The Bottom Line

If you or a loved one failed a breathalyzer test, you may be worried about the potential consequences. In Illinois, DUIs are punishable by loss of your driver’s license, heavy fees, and, in some cases, even jail time. However, blowing over the legal limit does not necessarily mean you will be convicted of drunk driving. If your attorney can prove that the test was inaccurate or inadmissible for some other reason, you may be able to avoid conviction.

Contact a Wheaton DUI Defense Lawyer

Contact  Stephen A. Brundage for help if you or a loved one were arrested for drunk driving. DuPage County criminal defense attorney Stephen A. Brundage can advise you of your rights and start building a robust defense against DUI charges. Call our office today at 630-260-9647 for a confidential consultation.



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