Refusal to Submit to Breath Test in Florida – Refusing the Breath Test
A breathalyzer test is the most common test that is utilized when a person is being suspected of driving under the influence. An individual will blow into the breathalyzer test and the test will calculate the person’s blood alcohol concentration level (BAC). If the person has a BAC level of .08 or higher they will be charged with driving under the influence.
According to Florida law, all Florida drivers are required to take a breath test if an officer has probable cause that they are driving under the influence.
The following Florida statute that pertains to this statement is as follows…
“Any person who accepts the privilege extended by the laws of this state of operating a motor vehicle within this state is, by so operating such vehicle, deemed to have given his or her consent to submit to an approved chemical test or physical test including, but not limited to, an infrared light test of his or her breath for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his or her blood or breath if the person is lawfully arrested for any offense allegedly committed while the person was driving or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages. The chemical or physical breath test must be incidental to a lawful arrest and administered at the request of a law enforcement officer who has reasonable cause to believe such person was driving or was in actual physical control of the motor vehicle within this state while under the influence of alcoholic beverages. The administration of a breath test does not preclude the administration of another type of test. The person shall be told that his or her failure to submit to any lawful test of his or her breath will result in the suspension of the person’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle for a period of 1 year for a first refusal, or for a period of 18 months if the driving privilege of such person has been previously suspended as a result of a refusal to submit to such a test or tests, and shall also be told that if he or she refuses to submit to a lawful test of his or her breath and his or her driving privilege has been previously suspended for a prior refusal to submit to a lawful test of his or her breath, urine, or blood, he or she commits a misdemeanor in addition to any other penalties. The refusal to submit to a chemical or physical breath test upon the request of a law enforcement officer as provided in this section is admissible into evidence in any criminal proceeding.”
Penalties for Refusal of Breath Test
For a first time offender, a refusal to take a breath test will result in an automatic one year license suspension and will be documented as such on their driving record, which will increase insurance rates.
If a driver is pulled over again and they refuse to take the test for a second or subsequent time, this will be deemed as a criminal offense and will be documented as a misdemeanor on the accused individual’s driving and criminal record. A second time refusal will result in an automatic license suspension for 18 months and possible jail time, probation and additional fees.
A refusal to take a breath test may be seen as an admission of guilt, but if fought in court it leaves the prosecution with very little evidence to support the fact the individual was driving under the influence.
Contact a lawyer
As soon as you are charged with a refusal to take a breath test, contact a lawyer immediately and set up a defense strategy to reduce or eliminate your charges. Finebloom, Haenel& Higgins will provide you with the best defense possible and we are available 24/7 to answer all of your questions. We have won thousands of cases on refusals to take a breath test and we WILL make sure that you receive the best outcome possible. With over 30 years of experience and knowledge we guarantee you nothing short of excellence. Call us today at 1-800-344-4848.