What Happens If I Refuse a Breath Test in Florida?
If you were pulled over by the police after drinking a little too much, you might consider refusing to undergo a breathalyzer test. After all, if this device confirms you’re intoxicated, it can feel like your fate is sealed.
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only is it possible to challenge breath and blood test results in the state, but refusing a breath test could result in far harsher penalties than agreeing to the police officers’ request.
In this article, we take a closer look at Florida’s implied consent laws, explore the penalties for refusing a breathalyzer, and explain some of the ways in which you might be able to challenge the results of such tests in Florida.
Florida’s Implied Consent Laws
When you operate a vehicle in Florida, you enter into an agreement known as “Implied Consent”. Under these laws, you agree to lawful requests for urine, breath, and other chemical testing for the purposes of determining whether you are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
What are the Penalties for Refusing a Breathalyzer Test?
As refusing a test is considered a violation of the law, you may face harsh penalties for making this decision. Your first refusal could result in a one year suspension of your driver’s license. A second refusal is considered a first degree misdemeanor and could lead to jail time, a lengthy probationary period, and $1,000 in fines.
However, there are many ways—with adequate evidence—to justify your refusal. For instance, you could argue that you couldn’t agree to testing due medical issues such as stress, anxiety, or a severe mental illness. Alternatively, it’s possible that the officer was impatient and didn’t give you sufficient time to consider your options and consent to testing.
Can You Challenge the Results of a Breathalyzer Test?
If you blew over the legal limit, your fate isn’t necessarily set in stone. While breathalyzer devices are one of the most accurate ways to determine whether someone is intoxicated, these tests aren’t exactly foolproof.
For instance, a device could malfunction or be incorrectly calibrated. The officer conducting the test might not possess the necessary qualifications or training to use the device correctly. Alternatively, if you can show that the police officers didn’t have probable cause to stop you, the results of any breath tests conducted during this stop could be thrown out.
Arrested for Drunk Driving? Discuss Your Options with a Palm Beach Gardens DUI Lawyer
If you refused a breathalyzer test or blew over the legal limit, you could benefit from discussing your case with a Florida DUI lawyer. Attorney Todd A. Kawecki can step in to help protect your rights and gather the necessary evidence to build a strong defense.
He understands that even the most well-intentioned people can make mistakes, so he will do everything in his power to help you secure a favorable outcome. Contact us today at 772-485-4500 or click through to our contact page HERE to request a free case review.