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Defenses to Drunk Driving in Illinois

There are a few defenses in a DUI prosecution in Illinois.

The initial vehicle stop will be deemed to be illegal if the the officer did not have a reasonable basis to believe a traffic violation had occurred or if the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to believe the motorist was driving under the influence (if no moving traffic violation exists). These defenses do not apply to a roadside stop by police officers.

The police may only arrest the motorist for a DUI offense of the results of the field sobriety tests lead to probable cause to believe the motorist is driving while intoxicated. Therefore, if the results of the field sobriety test do not lead to probable cause to believe the motorist may be intoxicated, the officer may not arrest the motorist.

Officers may only testify as to the field sobriety testing if it is to show that the officer was trained and qualified to operate the machine. The field sobriety test may not be introduced as evidence that the motorist was in fact intoxicated; instead the results may only be used in conjunction with the chemical testing to show that the results of the field sobriety test lead to enough probable cause to arrest the motorist and submit them to further chemical testing.

The defendant may defend themselves against the DUI charge by showing that the chemical tests are found to be invalid or inaccurate which may include showing that the devices used, methods or qualifications of the administrator are defective or were performed by person not properly qualified.


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