Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test During a Florida DUI Stop?
Picture this: You’re stopped by a police officer who claims that you were swerving on the road. Maybe you drank a few beers before getting behind the wheel, so you’re not sure if you’re over—or under—the legal limit. As such, you may be wondering if you can refuse a breathalyzer test to avoid getting arrested.
However, in Florida, you are legally obligated to consent to breath, blood, and urine testing on the road. Refusing to blow can result in serious penalties, especially if this isn’t your first time declining a test. In this article, we will take a closer look at Florida’s implied consent laws and the consequences of refusing a breathalyzer.
What Are Florida’s Implied Consent Laws?
In the state, when you get behind the wheel of a car, you enter into an agreement that you will submit to lawful requests for breath or urine testing for the purpose of determining your blood alcohol content or detecting the presence of controlled substances. Simply put, if you are stopped by officers, you must submit to testing, or you will face serious penalties.
What Happens if I Refuse to Blow?
Refusing to take a breathalyzer test will result in a mandatory one-year suspension of your driver’s license. However, if this is your second, third, or subsequent offense, you could also face jail time and fines. Keep in mind that refusing to blow can often result in worse consequences than if you just submit to testing.
However, whether you refused a breath, blood or urine test, or you blew over the legal limit, your fate isn’t sealed. There are many different types of defenses that could be used to challenge criminal charges brought on the basis of refusal or to dispute the admissibility of test results. Such defenses can include that:
- The arresting officers did not have probable cause to request that you submit to testing;
- They did not have probable cause to justify stopping you;
- They failed to issue an implied consent warning;
- The breathalyzer device was not calibrated or used correctly;
- The breathalyzer device malfunctioned; or
- You did not actually refuse the breath test.
A DUI defense attorney can investigate your arrest to determine whether the officers violated the law or made any other mistakes. Your lawyer’s goal will be to dismantle the prosecution’s case against you in a bid to have the penalties reduced or your charge dismissed.
Speak to a DUI Defense Attorney in Port St. Lucie, Florida
Refused a breath test? Blew over the legal limit? Turn to criminal defense attorney Todd A. Kawecki to discuss your options. Todd will pay close attention to your case, analyzing every factor from the moment you were stopped to determine the best strategy to employ.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the arrest, he may be able to develop a defense strategy that leads to reduced charges and penalties, or the outright dismissal of your case. Reach out to our offices at 772-485-4500 or send us a message via our Online Contact Form to schedule a free case review.