The large majority of DUI cases are filed as a result of a traffic stop that lead to a breath test, with the test result showing that the driver was over the legal limit. In Florida, the legal limit for the amount of alcohol in your system is 0.08%. This means that if the concentration of alcohol I your body is over that amount, you can be arrested and charged with DUI. When you get behind the wheel of a car, the law presupposes that you consent to being tested if you are pulled over. This is referred to as implied consent, and the reasoning being the rule is that by taking advantage of the state’s roadways, you agree to a test if pulled over on suspicion of DUI. But the truth is you can refuse the test. It is just that doing so can have some serious consequences.
While Florida law does assume you will consent to a breath test, you can refuse. If you do refuse, watch out for these three things in your case:
- If you are a first time offender you can lose your license for up to one year if you initially refuse the breath test, only to be subjected to other forms of testing and found to have a BAC over the legal limit.
- For a second time offender, the potential loss of license is eight months.
- Third time offenders also lose their right to drive for eighteen months.
These are the rules that are in place if you refuse the breath test, but are later convicted with other proof of DUI. This sounds pretty harsh, but it does not mean your case is impossible to defend if you have refused the test. However, refusal does mean certain defenses are no longer available to you. For instance, if you did not take the test you cannot claim that it was not properly administered. We understand the confusion that comes with being arrested for DUI, and that in the heat of the moment it can be hard to make a decision about what is best for you. So, if you are charged with DUI, whether you submitted to a breath test or refused, call us for help. Our experienced DUI defense attorneys know how to defend all kinds of DUI cases and can help you develop a defense that fits the facts of your case.
For answers to questions about refusing a breath test, call an experienced criminal defense attorney today. Skilled criminal defense attorneys in Stuart and the Treasure Coast are here to help you today. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.