Take a DUI breath test or not in Florida?
Florida Residents Already Agreed to Take a DUI Breath Test
2021 Florida Statute (1)(a)1.a.
A person who accepts the privilege extended by the laws of this state of operating a motor vehicle within this state is, by operating such vehicle, deemed to have given his or her consent to submit to an approved chemical test or physical test including, but not limited to, an infrared light test of his or her breath for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his or her blood or breath if the person is lawfully arrested for any offense allegedly committed while the person was driving or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages.
The chemical or physical breath test must be incidental to a lawful arrest and administered at the request of a law enforcement officer who has reasonable cause to believe such person was driving or was in actual physical control of the motor vehicle within this state while under the influence of alcoholic beverages.
The administration of a breath test does not preclude the administration of another type of test. The person shall be told that his or her failure to submit to any lawful test of his or her breath will result in the suspension of the person’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle for a period of 1 year for a first refusal, or for a period of 18 months if the driving privilege of such person has been previously suspended or if he or she has previously been fined under s. 327.35215 as a result of a refusal to submit to a test or tests required under this chapter or chapter 327, and shall also be told that if he or she refuses to submit to a lawful test of his or her breath and his or her driving privilege has been previously suspended or if he or she has previously been fined under s. 327.35215 for a prior refusal to submit to a lawful test of his or her breath, urine, or blood as required under this chapter or chapter 327, he or she commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, in addition to any other penalties provided by law.
The refusal to submit to a chemical or physical breath test upon the request of a law enforcement officer as provided in this section is admissible into evidence in any criminal proceeding.
(And yes the previous very long sentences were directly quoted from the Florida Statues)
Is there any defense for failing or refusing a breathalyzer test in Florida?
There is always a defense and there are logical reasons for refusing to take the test. In Florida the statutes are written specifically difficult to refuse and put you at risk for loss or suspension of your drivers license and more severe penalties if you do refuse.
In every case there is the chance to repeal the suspension of loss of drivers license.
If it is your first offense you are facing a possible 12 month suspension. But you may be able to get a restrictive hardship permit after 90 day period. If it is the second occurrence refusing to take the test the officer can charge you with a first degree misdemeanor.
There are technical defenses for refusing to take the test. Every circumstance is different. The best defense is to contact a experienced criminal attorney at the first opportunity.
For failing the test indicating that your blood alcohol level is above the legal limit there are also defenses. Many of the defenses are related to breathalyzer machines and procedures.
Do you have questions about taking a recent breathalyzer test?
If you have been stopped recently and have questions don't wait to contact an experienced attorney.
Call Edward M. Panzica 727-588-0966 today.