Refusing a Breathalyzer Test in Florida
You’re on your way home from a night out with your friends and you notice the flashing lights in your rearview mirror. You’re stopped by the cop, who says that you were swerving over the center line and asks for your license and registration, then to step out of the vehicle for a Breathalyzer test.
When you’re pulled over, you may be concerned about failing a field sobriety test. If you’re not sure whether you’re under the legal limit in Florida, should you refuse to take a breathalyzer test during a DUI stop?
Refusing a Breathalyzer test when you’re pulled over can hurt your case and your future. Here’s what you need to know before you refuse a test and what may happen if you refuse.
Implied Consent Law in Florida
According to Florida’s implied consent law, simply by owning a state driver’s license, you give your consent to take a Breathalyzer test.
If you are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, then an officer will ask if you would like to take an approved sobriety test. If they ask and you say yes, then they can administer the test. However, if they ask and you say no or refuse, then they cannot force you to do so without your explicit consent.
However, under implied consent laws, if you refuse to take a field sobriety test, your license will be automatically suspended. If it’s your first offense, your license will be suspended for one year. Second and third offenses result in eighteen months of suspension as well as possible time in jail.
What Happens If You Say No?
While you can refuse the test, that may hurt your future if you choose to do so. Depending on your case, refusing to blow can make it harder for you to avoid a DUI conviction or get the penalties of a DUI reduced.
If you refuse a breathalyzer test, you limit your options for recovery. Your lawyer can fight the evidence against you, but you may have no option but to accept the automatic license suspension. Refusing the test means refusing a part of the agreement to keep your license.
What If You Took the Test and Blew Over the Legal Limit?
A DUI is serious. If you are charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, you may face fines, jail time, and other penalties. However, there are ways our law firm can fight these charges, and the outcome we get for our clients is often better than it would have been if they refused a Breathalyzer test in Florida.
If you fail a Breathalyzer test, the Florida Diversion Program is a way to get a lighter sentence if you agree to take a chemical test. This program helps rehabilitate first-time offenders, offering you a lighter sentence. Your lawyer can review the details of your case and guide you through the best option for your claim.
Get Aid from a Florida DUI Attorney
Refusing a Breathalyzer test in Florida can lead to serious consequences, but accepting the penalties of failing one can lead to trouble. That’s why it’s important to speak with a lawyer before you make any decisions.
A skilled attorney from Hersem Law can help ensure that your rights are protected and that all evidence is considered during the trial. If you’re worried about a DUI because you failed a sobriety test, reach out for a free strategy session on your case. Complete our online form or call 813-251-7291.