The Illinois State Bar Association offers short answers to common legal questions in its monthly “Illinois Law Now” series: 

Question: Can a motorist refuse to take a Breathalyzer test when stopped by police?

Answer: Under Illinois' implied consent law, any person with a driver's license agrees to abide by certain rules, including submitting to a breath or blood test if police suspect that you may be driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). You have the right to refuse the test, but that decision has consequences. The first time you refuse, you face an automatic one-year suspension of your driver's license. At the time of the stop, you will receive paperwork from the police officer which serves as a 45-day driving permit, after which your driver’s license will be suspended. You have 30 days to request a hearing to preserve your driving privileges or seek a restricted driving permit.

Question: Under Illinois’ new medical marijuana law, is it legal for motorists to drive with cannabis in their system?

Answer: For the first time, a person can legally drive in Illinois with cannabis in his or her system, as long as the driver is not impaired. The Medical Cannabis Act makes important changes, but it also introduces inconsistencies into DUI law that are likely to inspire litigation.

Question: May I use a photo on my website without express written permission from the photographer? I emailed a request, but have not heard back.

Answer: If you did not receive express written permission from the rights holder, you do not have permission, and using it is infringement. The photographer’s lack of response to your request may simply mean he or she did not receive the email. If you want to use the photo without fear of violating the law, keep trying to reach the photographer.

Question: I lost my job and believe I may be the victim of age discrimination. Should I file a lawsuit?

Answer: Contact a lawyer to see if you have a case. Federal law prohibits companies from discriminating against employees 40 or older because of age. The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.


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