If you have been out drinking and get pulled over on your way home you might be wondering if you have to submit to a breath test. The answer is complex because technically you can refuse to take a breath test, but there are consequences. The most typical scenario is one where an officer pulls over a driver and the driver agrees to take a breath test. This is because Florida is an implied consent state, which means that by taking advantage of the roadways you have impliedly consented to the test if asked.
If a driver being stopped for possible DUI refuses to take a breath test, that refusal can later be used against the driver if another form of test reveals a BAC over the legal limit. Other test forms include a blood test, which is likely to happen if you don’t take a breath test in the field. When breath tests are refused the driver is taken to the police station and a blood test can be given. In addition to using the refusal as evidence against you, lawmakers are considering these three things as added punishment for refusal:
- Higher fines, up to $1,000.00.
- A mandatory probationary period of 6 months.
- Four points added to the driver’s record.
Enhanced punishment is currently a possibility, but if those proposing changes to the law for refusing to take a breath test get their way these enhancements would become the norm. As it currently stands Judges have the power to impose lenient sentences but if changes are made to the law that would no longer be the case. If you have been charged with DUI, you need to act fast. Whether you took the breath test or refused you still have only 10 days after arrest to challenge the loss of your license. The quicker you take action the more likely you are to be able to gather helpful evidence. Call us today to find out what you need to do first, and what steps are necessary throughout your case. We have experience helping others defend not only the DUI charge but also their right to drive, and we can help you too.
Allow an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast to help you. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.