A DUI traffic stop is more than just an inconvenience. Illinois drunk driving laws are tough, and you could end up facing serious criminal charges that can affect many areas of your life. You have rights, however, and knowing these rights is a key component in protecting your interests and building a strong defense strategy.

Should you cooperate with police during a traffic stop? What will happen if you refuse? What if you only had one drink? These are only a few examples of the questions people often have during and after a suspected DUI traffic stop. By taking quick action to secure defense help as soon as possible after your arrest, you can get answers to your questions and start working immediately on a plan by which you can fight these charges.

Grounds for an arrest

When police observe certain behaviors, they may pull a driver over for suspected drunk driving. This is reasonable suspicion, and it can include things such as erratic driving, swerving, straddling the centerline and hitting stationary objects. During the course of the traffic stop, they may find there is reason to ask a driver to submit to sobriety tests. If the results of the field sobriety tests are not satisfactory, law enforcement may ask you to submit to a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol content.

You have the right to refuse to submit to any test. However, due to implied consent laws, this could lead to an arrest anyway. This means you will probably have to deal with a suspension of your license for a period of time, even if there is no conviction of a crime.

Should you answer questions?

During the course of a suspected drunk driving traffic stop, police can ask you questions without reading or explaining your rights to you. At this point, you are not in their custody. While do you have the right to refuse to cooperate, that does not necessarily mean you will avoid an arrest.

Your defense can start now

It’s not always easy to know what to do after an arrest for drunk driving. However, a guilty plea or a conviction is never the only options available to you. You have the right to present a strong defense, challenge the evidence against you and fight to preserve your future interests.