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Whether you have been charged with a DUI, or you are simply looking to learn more about DUI law, you can read more about how we can help you here.

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Should You Refuse to Take a Breath Test?

When you have been pulled over for driving under the influence in Florida, law enforcement will observe your actions, appearance, and odor to determine if you have been drinking. If they feel as though you have been consuming alcohol, they may ask you to submit to a breath test in order to determine if you are above the legal limit for driving in the state. In Florida, a driver is held to an implied consent law, which means that when you agreed to get a driver's license, you agreed to submit to a breath test, blood, or urine test.

What Refusal Can Mean in a Florida DUI

Proving that a driver was under the influence is difficult without blood, breath, or urine evidence. In order for law enforcement to have a solid case against you, they must have some evidence. However, there are consequences for refusing a BAC test in Florida.

Refusal can occur if a driver:

  • Agrees to take a BAC test but does not provide two sufficient samples within the statutory time limit
  • Provides two breath samples within .02 of one another and does not take a third one
  • Blows on the breathalyzer only once and refuses to blow any more
  • Does not explicitly state yes or no when asked to take a BAC test
  • Becomes argumentative with an officer

If you are found to have refused a field sobriety test, the court may view this as an admission of guilt in the DUI trial. Further, due to implied consent laws, your driver's license will be immediately suspended and you will face a one-year removal of driving privileges.

However, in a criminal trial, lack of BAC evidence means that the prosecution may be hard-pressed to prove that that you were driving under the influence at all. They will have to use the refusal of a breath test, the results of field sobriety tests, and any evidence you may have disclosed yourself to make a case for driving under the influence without reasonable doubt. A skilled DUI defense attorney may be able to poke holes in their case and create doubt that you were under the influence, leading to reduced or even dropped charges.

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Tampa DUI Defense Attorney Thomas & Paulk, P.A. Attorneys at Law