Will I Be Convicted for a DUI If I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?
Before you are arrested for driving under the influence, police officers will usually have to conduct various tests to determine whether you’re intoxicated. Some, such as field sobriety tests, will involve assessing your coordination, balance, and reaction times to see if any of your motor functions are impaired by alcohol or drugs. However, in many cases, officers might ask you to blow into a breathalyzer to get a rough reading of your blood-alcohol content.
If you’ve been drinking, you may be tempted to refuse this test so that you don’t risk blowing over the limit. Unfortunately, refusing the police officers’ requests could land you in serious trouble as there are severe penalties for those who don’t comply with the law.
The Importance of Florida’s Implied Consent Laws
In almost every state, any motorist who gets behind the wheel enters into an unspoken agreement known as implied consent. Simply put, if you’re operating a vehicle, you are required to submit to any lawful breath or urine tests that are requested by officers to determine whether you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs. As a result, if you’re pulled over by police officers, you have a legal obligation to agree to any requests for testing. While you can still refuse, you will usually be arrested and could face strict punishments.
What Happens If I Refuse to Blow?
Refusing a breathalyzer test will typically result in the suspension of your driver’s license for up to a year after the arrest. Additionally, if this isn’t your first offense, you could face other serious penalties such as jail time, fines, DUI school, and community service. In some cases, even if you are over the legal blood-alcohol limit, refusing a breath test could result in stricter penalties than agreeing to blow.
However, just because you refused a test doesn’t mean your fate is sealed. You will still have an opportunity to defend yourself in court and, depending on whether you are able to build a strong defense, either have your penalties reduced or the charges dropped. For instance, you might be able to find evidence that shows that the arresting officers didn’t have “probable cause” to pull you over which could result in any results from tests conducted during the stop being thrown out.
Ultimately, whether you tested over the legal blood-alcohol limit or refused to blow, a criminal defense attorney might be able to help you build a strong defense. They can not only investigate what happened during the arrest and gather the necessary proof to support your case, but also represent you throughout proceedings. Additionally, an attorney may be able to help you take important steps to retain your driving privileges.
Speak to a Port St. Lucie DUI Lawyer Today
Did you refuse a breathalyzer test or blow over the legal limit? Turn to attorney Todd A. Kawecki for help. Todd can assess our case as part of a free consultation and provide you with the answers you will need to make informed decisions about your case. Contact us today at 772-485-4500 or head over to our contact page HERE to request a case review with a Florida DUI lawyer.