Will I Go to Jail If I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?
Outside of an accident, blowing over the legal limit is a fear most drivers share. However, sometimes when a quick drink turns into one too many, this a crushing reality you might have to face. In the moment, you may be wondering if you should refuse the test to prevent police officers from finding out that you’ve had too much to drink. Unfortunately, opting out of testing could leave you in a world of trouble.
Florida’s Implied Consent Laws
In Florida, when you hit the road in a vehicle, you are required to submit to any lawful urine or breath tests requested to find out whether your blood alcohol content is over the limit, or to determine if you’re driving under the influence of a controlled substance. As such, if you are pulled over by police officers, you are—by law—required to submit to testing. Refusing their request could result in harsh penalties.
What Happens If I Refuse the Test?
Rejecting requests to undergo a breathalyzer test will usually result in the mandatory suspension of your driver’s license for up to a year. However, if this is the second, third, or subsequent time you’ve violated Florida’s implied consent laws, you may have to spend time behind bars and/or pay fines. Even if you are under the influence, refusing a test can often result in harsher penalties than if you had submitted to testing.
However, if you have refused a test, these penalties aren’t a foregone conclusion. There are many ways to fight the charges and, depending on the unique circumstances surrounding the arrest, have the case against you dismissed.
Such defenses might include that:
- The arresting officers didn’t have a legal reason to request the test;
- The officers didn’t have probable cause, i.e., they were acting on a hunch rather than a valid reason to pull you over;
- The officers didn’t issue an implied consent warning during the stop;
- The breathalyzer device malfunctioned;
- The breathalyzer device was incorrectly calibrated or improperly used; or
- You didn’t actually refuse the test or know that a test was requested.
Whether you blew over the legal limit or refused a test, a criminal defense attorney may be able to help you fight the charges. He or she can investigate the arrest and gather the necessary evidence to build a compelling defense. Ultimately, your attorney will seek to dismantle the prosecution’s case in an effort to either have your penalties reduced or the case itself thrown out.
Discuss Your Case with a Palm Beach Gardens DUI Attorney Today
Did you recently refuse a breathalyzer test? Attorney Todd A. Kawecki can meet with you to discuss your options. He will pay close attention to every aspect of your case throughout proceedings, working tirelessly to help you achieve a favorable outcome.
The initial consultation is free, so you won’t have to pay a cent to get the answers you need to make informed decisions about your case. Contact us today at 772-485-4500 or drop us a message using our contact page HERE to request a case review with a Florida DUI lawyer.