Law enforcement officers are constantly watching the roadways for drivers suspected of driving under the influence. However, police and prosecutors alike are becoming aggravated now that many citizens are aware of what police officers can and cannot do.
In fact, Florida state prosecutors are frustrated and shocked to find that four out of 10 drivers stopped for DUI in Florida refuse breathalyzers despite what is written on the back of Florida’s driver’s licenses – “Operator of a motor vehicle constitutes consent to any sobriety test required by law.”
State prosecutors claim many defense lawyers advise their clients to never submit to a breath test. We can’t comment on the validity of that statement, but certainly the opportunity of success at trial is greater on a refusal case, versus a case with a breath test result over .08. However, this could also be due to the many problems associated with Florida’s official breath test device, the Intoxilyzer 8000. The results of these tests are often unreliable.
In some states, like Texas, a motorist stopped on suspicion of DUI must submit to a breath test or they could be subject to a blood test, despite whether or not they consent to being stuck with a needle. If a Florida driver refuses a breath test they will be transported to jail for the night as if they had a BAC of 0.08 or higher even though there is no objective scientific evidence to prove otherwise.
Currently under Florida law, if a driver refuses a breath test they will be subject to an administrative license suspension that can possible be regained by filing the appropriate documents and contesting the suspension through the DHSMV. Possible arguments that could defend your ability to drive in Florida may include whether or not police read you your rights, if police explained what “implied consent” means and if they had probable cause to pull your vehicle over in the first place.
If you were arrested for DUI after refusing to submit to a breath test in Florida, contact the Florida DUI Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton online or dial us statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).