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DUI » DUI Testing » Roadside Breath Testing

Roadside Breath Testing

A common question associated with driving under the influence is whether a driver must submit to a roadside breath test. The answer may vary depending on the specific circumstances. If a driver is under the age of 21 and is pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, he or she may face administrative license suspension for refusing a roadside breath test. Drivers who are 21 years of age or older, however, may refuse roadside breath testing without facing license suspension or criminal penalties. As every case is different, it is important to get detailed information that applies to your unique situation. An attorney can provide you with the insight you need to make informed decisions about your case.

Portable Breath Tests (Preliminary Alcohol Screening) in Florida

What is meant by a "roadside breath test"? In using this term, we are referring to a specific type of breath test administered before a driver is arrested for DUI. Often referred to as a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test, this type of test is typically administered using a portable device in the field, as opposed to a formal test conducted at the police station after a driver is taken into custody on suspicion of DUI.

While a driver in Tampa, Florida will most certainly face driver's license suspension and possibly criminal charges for refusing a formal breath test after his or her arrest, refusing a portable breath test is a different matter. Provided you are over the age of 21 and are not currently on probation for a previous DUI conviction, you most likely have the right to refuse a roadside breath test.

This same principle applies to field sobriety tests such as the one-leg stand or walk-and-turn, which are used by officers to establish probable cause that a driver is "under the influence" of alcohol and / or drugs. Like a portable breath test, the results of field sobriety tests may be used against you in court to prove that you are guilty. Refusing portable breath testing can serve to limit the amount of evidence that the prosecuting attorney has against you.

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