Being charged with DUI means that you have been pulled over, asked to take a field sobriety and breath test, and that the test result showed the level of alcohol in your system was over the legal limit. The breath test is the most common way for police to determine if a driver is legally defined as “driving while impaired” and most people are under the impression they don’t have a choice when asked to submit to a breath test. This is because the law provides that by taking advantage of use of the state’s roadways you automatically consent to this type of test. The legal term is “implied consent” and it is gives rise to a lot of complex legal questions.
Florida law defines driving under the influence as driving with a BAC of 0.08% or more. As discussed, this is determined by a breath or blood test. If you refuse to take the breath test when pulled over, you face these possible three consequences:
- For a first offense you can lose your driver’s license for a period of one year.
- For a second offense the loss of driving privileges is eighteen months.
- For a third offense you also lose your right to drive for eighteen months.
If you refuse the test and are convicted of DUI the above loss of license rules are in place. But this does not mean that you do not have the chance to defend your case. This is because when you refuse the test you must have a defense that shows you were not driving while intoxicated. On the other hand if you do agree to the test you can defend your case by claiming the test was not given properly. This particular defense is not available if the test was refused, and you also cannot challenge the maintenance of the testing equipment or claim that the officer was not properly trained to administer the test. So while it might seem like refusing the breath test is a good idea, you do give up valuable defense strategies when you make that refusal. If you have been arrested for DUI call our office. We can help whatever your particular facts and whether you submitted to the breath test or exercised your right of refusal. Our experienced DUI defense attorneys know how to defend DUI cases with all sorts of fact patterns and can help you find a defense that works for you.
For more information about DUI cases, call our office today. Contact us today schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. The first visit is a free initial consultation.