DUI Checkpoints in Illinois
DUI checkpoints in Illinois are frequently mentioned on the news. At these special hot spots, law enforcement sets up shop for a period of time to stop and identify drivers who are under the influence. Typically, these operations result in many charges, from minor citations to serious crimes such as DUI. However, there are some issues regarding police procedures when it comes to arrests stemming from DUI checkpoints.
Last year, for example, the Chicago Tribune reported that Berwyn law enforcement officers may have failed to adhere to federal guidelines regarding DUI stops because of ticket-quota pressure from officials.
Since the context in which a driver was pulled over in a DUI case can become relevant in court, here’s what you need to know about the issues surrounding DUI checkpoints.
There’s No Refusal
In some states, Illinois included, police are allowed to hold what are called “no-refusal” DUI checkpoints. While DUI checkpoints have been considered legal for some time, the no-refusal type has been raising concerns in the states they’re allowed in. At a no-refusal checkpoint, law enforcement can order a person who is suspected of DUI to take a blood test if they won’t take a standard field sobriety test. If the driver also refuses to submit to the blood draw, the police can get a warrant and essentially take the blood by force.
Generally speaking, the blood test shouldn’t be conducted unless the officers have a solid reason to suspect the driver, which is known as probable cause. Nevertheless, USA Today notes that some defense attorneys think the idea is a way to circumvent other laws in place. For example, search warrants to administer a blood test without the driver’s consent are often mass-produced during no-refusal operations, something that doesn’t meet the requirements of narrow scope and specificity for warrants.
You’ve Already Given “Consent”
Illinois’ implied consent laws mean that when you got your license, you essentially consented to sobriety tests if you are pulled over. If you refuse, you’re subject to special penalties even if blood is drawn later without your permission. The penalty for refusing for a first offense is a one-year license suspension. However, it is worth noting that the refusal penalties are generally less severe than a DUI conviction, which may be harder for the state to get if you’re not in a no-refusal situation and they fail to get proof of your BAC. Be warned that even if the state doesn’t get your BAC at the time of the arrest, they can still charge you with DUI and win their case because they may use your refusal as proof of your intoxication in court.
If you’ve been charged with DUI in Illinois, speak to an experienced Springfield Illinois DUI lawyer as soon as possible about your case to help ensure the best outcome possible.