You got into an accident after drinking at a party. You were taken to the hospital where your blood was drawn. The blood test clearly shows you were well over the legal limit. Can the police get those test results or are you protected by patient-physician confidentiality?

In general, Illinois law prohibits your doctor from disclosing any information
acquired while attending you in a professional capacity that is necessary for the doctor to treat you. However, there are certain exceptions.

Physician-patient confidentiality does not apply to blood tests performed while you are receiving medical treatment in an emergency room and can be used under certain circumstances to prosecute you for DUI or reckless homicide. The results of blood, other bodily substance or urine tests performed to determine the alcohol or drug content in your system when receiving medical treatment in the emergency room for injuries resulting from a motor vehicle accident must be disclosed to police upon request.

According to a recent Illinois case, your blood test results may be admitted in a civil proceeding—the petition to overturn your driver’s license suspension—in order to prove the police officer had reasonable grounds to arrest you. See People v. Quigley

If you have been charged with DUI, contact an experienced attorney immediately. An attorney can help determine the best way of handling the evidence against you. Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email

See 735 ILCS 5/8-802.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

About mdkeenan

A criminal and school law attorney with over 17 years of experience, I have successfully represented clients all over the Chicago area. My practice includes DUI, felony, criminal, misdemeanor, homicide, internet crime, retail theft, traffic offenses, cyberstalking, drug crimes, weapons violations, domestic battery and juvenile crime. I also represent families involving school cases. My clients come from all over the Chicago area including Skokie, Wilmette, Niles, Northbrook, Glenview, Evanston, Winnetka, Highland park, Northfield, Park Ridge, Des Plaines and Mount Prospect. I am a member of the ACLU and the Illinois State Bar Association. I serve as a volunteer for First Defense Legal Aid. Se habla espanol.
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