Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol on an Illinois road can result in a misdemeanor or felony charge. In many cases, erratic driving will result in a traffic stop and cause an officer to believe that you may be impaired. The officer who conducts the stop may ask you to perform field sobriety tests or submit to a chemical test to test his or her theory.
Other evidence that may support the theory that you are impaired
The fact that you are driving erratically may not be the only reason an officer might believe that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In some cases, he or she may be able to smell alcohol or marijuana on your breath or coming from your vehicle. Refusing to take a chemical test or to perform field sobriety tests might also be seen as proof of impairment.
Chemical tests can take place at a police station
A Breathalyzer test or blood draw might take place at the scene of the traffic stop or at a police station. The purpose of these tests is to determine how much alcohol is in your system. It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in any state with a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher.
If you are convicted of driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol, you may spend months or years in jail, pay a fine or face other penalties. A criminal law professional may be able to cast doubt upon evidence used to charge you with this crime. In some cases, evidence such as the results of a Breathalyzer or blood test may be suppressed before or during a trial, and this may be enough to have a charge dropped or reduced by a prosecutor.