You had always heard that if you were stopped for DUI, you should refuse to take a breathalyzer. But when the time came, you went right along with police and blew over the limit.

What can you do?

When you are stopped for DUI in Illinois, the officer may ask you to perform some tests and then blow into a portable breathalyzer. If the officer arrests you, you will be asked to take a second breathalyzer at the police station.

While the portable breathalyzer result is not admissible in court at trial, the result at the police station may be used as evidence if it meets certain requirements. A certified operator must perform the test according to Illinois Department of Public Health standards. The breath machine must be an approved model that is tested regularly for accuracy. The officer must observe you for 20 minutes before the test to insure you do not smoke, regurgitate or drink during that time. (The police need not have unbroken eye contact but may use their other senses to observe you. See People v Chiaravalle.) The print out results must be identifiable as yours.

If the state fails to meet any of these requirements, the test result may be kept out of evidence. In some cases, it may be difficult for the state to prove their case without the test.

If you are charged with an Illinois DUI or related offense, contact an experienced attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for your best possible defense. Did police have a legitimate reason to stop your car? Does your driving and performance on the field sobriety tests show that you were not under the influence despite your breathalyzer result?

Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an experienced attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a better plea agreement than you can on your own.

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

Source: People v Eagletail.

(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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