Breath Test

DUI Attorney Serving McHenry County and the Surrounding Area

Representing defendants in many areas of Illinois, McHenry County DUI lawyer Robert H. Hanaford can advise people who have been charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A DUI is a serious charge, and Mr. Hanaford works aggressively to protect the rights of his clients. As a former state and local elected official, Mr. Hanaford has dedicated his career to serving his community. He also has been representing individuals in a wide range of legal matters for more than 30 years. Mr. Hanaford helps clients understand their rights and options while guiding them through the criminal justice process.

Mr. Hanaford has been certified through the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) Standard Field Sobriety Testing course. This is the same program in which all qualified DUI police officers receive training. NHTSA sets the national standard for administering field sobriety tests that police officers are expected to follow—but often do not.

Breath Testing Requirements

A breath test is one type of examination that police officers use to measure a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC). A person with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher is considered impaired under Pennsylvania law, and he or she may be charged with DUI if caught behind the wheel. Even someone whose BAC registers between 0.05 percent and 0.08 percent may be charged with DUI if other evidence shows that the person was too intoxicated to drive.

If you are pulled over by the police on suspicion of DUI, an officer may ask you to submit to a roadside breathalyzer test. A breathalyzer is a hand-held device that estimates a person’s BAC based on a breath sample. The test has a number of flaws, and results may be skewed based on medical conditions, hyperventilation, weather conditions, or other factors.

An officer must have reasonable suspicion that you are intoxicated in order to pull over your car and ask you to take a breathalyzer test. That suspicion may be based on erratic driving behavior or physical clues like bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, or the smell of alcohol. Police usually use the breathalyzer test to try to establish probable cause that a person has been drinking and driving. Probable cause is a higher legal standard than reasonable suspicion, and it must be established before a police officer can make a DUI arrest.

It is imperative to understand that you have the right to refuse to take a breathalyzer test. A driver need not submit to any testing until after he or she is arrested for DUI. At that point, you are required to submit to a separate chemical breath, blood, or urine test. If you refuse that test, your driver’s license will be suspended for at least one year. If you take the test and fail it, your license will be revoked for at least six months.

Discuss Your DUI Charges with a McHenry County Lawyer

If you are facing prosecution for DUI or a related offense, drunk driving lawyer Robert H. Hanaford has the skills and experience to fight the charges against you. Breath tests may be challenged on a number of grounds, and those administered without reasonable suspicion or probable cause under the circumstances often may be thrown out. Mr. Hanaford takes pride in offering personalized, comprehensive services to the people whom he represents. As a McHenry County DUI attorney, he can represent people in Crystal Lake, Algonquin, Cary, Lake in the Hills, Woodstock, McHenry, and Fox River Grove, among other communities. He also can assist defendants throughout Cook, Kane, and Lake Counties, including in Elgin, Arlington Heights, Palatine, and Barrington. You can contact us online, call the Chicago office at (312) 899-9020, or call the McHenry County office at (847) 516-5297. To set up a free consultation, call Mr. Hanaford’s cell phone at (312) 636-4807.