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Do drivers have to submit to BAC testing in car accidents?

Following a car accident involving injuries or death, a police investigation will follow to determine the cause of the accident. Although not all car accident are drunk driving accidents, by virtue of being in a vehicular accident authorities have the probable cause to look into what traffic laws were violated and investigate the cause.

Thus, it is not uncommon for police to ask drivers if they have been consuming alcohol or some other intoxicating substance, and how much they have consumed. If an officer suspects that one or both drivers may be intoxicated, then the officer may conduct a field sobriety test. If an individual fails the FST and the officers suspect that the driver is operating the vehicle under the influence, then the officer will make a DUI arrest. Furthermore, the officer at the scene may require the drivers to take a Breathalyzer test or submit to a blood alcohol content test.

In Illinois, under the Implied Consent law, any individual who is driving a vehicle or has control of the vehicle at the time of the accident is deemed to have consented to a blood test, breath test or an urine test to determine the driver's blood alcohol content. The current legal limit is 0.08 percent.

If a driver has a BAC level greater than 0.08 percent and an accident resulted, they may be charged with driving under the influence. Individuals who have suffered injuries in a drunk driving accident may be able to recover compensation for their injuries, and may be able to hold a drunk driver responsible for damages. The BAC information that is typically in the police report will be important.

Source: FindLaw, "Drunk Driving Accidents," Accessed June 15, 2015

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