Consequences of Refusing a Breath Test in Florida
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense and is dangerous both to you and others out on the road. According to the law, you should not drive if your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more. If you live in Florida and a policeman pulls you over for a suspected DUI offense, you have the right to decline taking a blood or breath test. However, you should be aware that there are consequences for refusing. When you obtained a Florida driver’s license, you agreed to the following statement: “Operator of a motor vehicle constitutes consent to any sobriety test required by law.” The most common test analyzes the breath for alcohol content using an instrument typically called a Breathalyzer.
Consequences of Refusing a Breath Test
Your failure to take a breath test can be seen as an admission of guilt in a court of law, should you have a hearing in front of a jury. Keep in mind that the consequences for refusing a breath test are different than the consequences for being found guilty of a DUI. You may be required to spend time in jail if this is your second or third offense. There are also consequences for minors who drink and drive. A minor’s alcohol content level must not exceed 0.05%. He might lose his license until the age of 18 for the first offense, and until age 21 for subsequent offenses.
Refusing to take a breath test does not always result in legal consequences. You are not in violation if the DUI arrest was not legal. For example, if an officer stops you without reasonable suspicion or arrests you without probable cause, you will not be punished for refusing the test. On the other hand, there are situations when you can be forced to take a blood test even if you refuse the breath test. A compulsory blood test may be required if an accident results in injury or death or if this is the third time you’ve been stopped for a suspected DUI.
If you have been stopped on a suspected DUI and refused to take a breath test, you should consult an attorney to determine your rights and determine if it is possible to have the charge reduced to a lesser offense such as reckless driving. Timothy Armstrong, P.A is available to guide you through your case. We will do everything possible to prevent you from losing your driving privileges, or to reinstate them if they have been lost. You can reach us at 904-356-8618 or fill out the contact form on this website, and we will contact you within 24 hours.