The answer varies from lawyer to lawyer, though some things are pretty straightforward. The most obvious one is that you shouldn’t drink and drive. I mean it don’t do it. Ever. Nothing spells the loss of a job faster than not being able to get to it because you can’t get a ride because you don’t drive anymore. Some police departments take the car when you get arrested, too. If you are not a US citizen, DUIs can help get you kicked out of the country. If you like to fish or hunt in Canada, they can say we don’t want you, when you try to go. A DUI arrest, let alone a conviction or supervision, can have a devastating effect on your life. Don’t forget the obvious: you could get killed, kill someone else, or cause property to get damaged. So, don’t drink if there is a chance that you will have to drive before it is out of your system. Okay, I got that out of the way.
This is for the in-station breath alcohol testing. It is also written for people over 21 years of age. Beyond that, you have to look at the situation. One big question is: How bad do you need to drive?
If you are above a .08 you will lose your license for at least 6 months if you are over 21 and a first time dui arrestee, if you take the test and flunk. If you take the test, and you are dirty, you will only lose your license via a suspension for 6 months. You might have a chance at your summary suspension hearing, but by that point you will already have your license suspended. You could also lose that hearing anyhow. But, if you have a private lawyer, that hearing gives the lawyer a chance to cross examine the police person on all the things they did, and maybe that build a better case for you at the trial. This can make a huge difference in a borderline case.
If you refuse the breath test they will take your license via a suspension for 12 months if you are over 21 and first time dui arrestee. You might have a chance at your summary suspension hearing, but by that point you will already have your license suspended. You could also lose that hearing anyhow. For people who badly need to drive, AND they are a first time dui arrestee, this consequence is overwhelming makes it a bad idea to refuse.
You should not blow if there is an injury to another person, or a death. In that case, the consequences of a high BAC reading on the machine is usually having really bad evidence for a case that will likely send you to prison. For most of us, that is a lot worse than having a suspended license.
If you are already suspended or revoked, you should not blow unless you KNOW you will pass (like maybe 1 or no drinks). It will only make real bad evidence for you in a case that will send you to jail or prison.
Obviously, don’t drink and drive. Ever (as they say on Mythbusters). If you are going to drink, designate a driver who does not drink. Everyone should put at least one cab company on their cell phone. I really like American Taxi if you are in northern Illinois. No, I don’t use them for drinking bouts. But I’ve used them to get me and my family to the Airport and home from a car breakdown. They are really polite and they take plastic. 847-253-4411. http://www.americantaxi.com/