Florida DUI, Refusing To Submit To a Breath Test
Sobriety checkpoint in Miramar planned Friday
A sobriety checkpoint will be in effect from 9 p.m. Friday through 3 a.m. Saturday for motorists traveling along the 3600 block of South University Drive in Miramar.
Police officers from Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Davie and Hollywood, as well as deputies from the Broward Sheriff’s Office, will be watching for drivers who are operating their vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and will enforce other traffic-related offenses. Source.
Sobriety checkpoints are predetermined locations, on roads, where police officers can halt motor vehicles and observe drivers for signs of intoxication. The purpose of these roadblocks is to discourage people from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A driver that is stopped may be asked to perform a field sobriety test, as well as consent to a breath test if the officer feels that one is warranted.
The outcomes of these tests can result in the driver being arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI), or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI). Local law enforcement agencies often decide to implement random checkpoints more frequently on certain holidays or times of the year when drunk driving rates tend to increase.
A sobriety checkpoint generally has visible warnings for approaching motorists, which can include road signs, flares, or other types of lights.
A driver may be visually assessed and sent on his or her way if the officer observes no signs of intoxication. Otherwise, the driver may have to pull over and exit his or her vehicle for further examination. At his or her discretion, the police officer can administer a field sobriety test, as well as a breath test. The laws vary with regard to the consequences of a driver refusing either of these tests. If it is determined that the driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol, the officer typically follows his or her agency’s standard procedure.
Florida law requires you to take a breath, blood, or urine test if you are arrested for a DUI. Florida’s “implied consent” law says that if you are lawfully arrested by an officer who has probable cause to believe that you have been driving under the influence, then you consent to taking a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine for the purpose of determining your blood alcohol content (BAC) or for drugs. Also, you may be asked to take more than one test. If the officer first chooses a breath test, then he or she has the option to make you take an additional test, which you cannot refuse without penalty.
You could be arrested for a DUI even if you are not driving. If you have actual, physical control of the vehicle while under the influence, then that can be enough for an officer to arrest you. Generally, actual, physical control means that the driver is in the car and can make it move. Even if the driver is asleep when the officer arrives on the scene, the potential that he or she could wake up and drive has been enough for a Florida court to decide that the driver had actual physical control.
Once you are arrested, the officer should tell you that if you refuse to take the test, your license will be suspended and that your refusal can be used against you in court. The officer should also tell you that if you have had your license suspended before for refusing a chemical test, then this subsequent refusal counts as a misdemeanor in addition to having your license suspended again.
You can read Florida’s implied consent law in the Florida Statutes Annotated 316.1932.
Refusing to Take the Test
In Florida, you will lose your license for one year for your first refusal. For your second and any subsequent refusal, your license will be suspended for 18 months and you will face the additional consequences, such as time in jail, that come with committing a misdemeanor.
In most situations, if you refuse to take a mandatory blood, breath, or urine test, you cannot be forced to do so. However, the state may administer the test if you are unconscious, even if you haven’t yet been arrested. Also, if you find yourself in a situation where an officer arrests you for a DUI but hasn’t given you a test, then Florida law says that you can ask for one. Once you ask, the officer has to give you a test.
The penalties for refusing to submit to a chemical test are found in the Florida Statutes Annotated 316.1932 and 775.082. Source
West Palm Beach DUI/DWI Attorney
It is not illegal to drink and drive in Florida, so long as your blood alcohol content (BAC) is not over .08 or your normal faculties are not impaired. At the law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A., in West Palm Beach, we advise our clients to neither blow into a breathalyzer machine nor do a roadside test. Why give evidence to the state if you don’t have to?
If you have submitted to a breathalyzer test and failed, that is not the end of your case. The Intoxilzer 5,000 and Intoxilzer 8,000 breathalyzer machines used to measure BAC in Florida have significant problems. If you have an expert witness and an experienced attorney who can challenge the accuracy of the machine in court, the BAC evidence may be thrown out. DUI/DWI Lawyer Andrew Stine has obtained not-guilty verdicts due to machine failure for clients who have had blood alcohol levels of .229 and .227.
The most important thing in DUI/DWI cases is early intervention by your attorney. This preliminary involvement will help you avoid the consequences of a conviction, which are very serious in Florida. We will also represent you at your hearing before the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles in order to protect your right to drive.
There are defenses in DUI accident cases, which an experienced and capable lawyer can use. Even if you made a statement to police during your arrest, our lawyers can usually get that evidence thrown out of court. Any statement you give officers cannot be used against you due to the Florida accident report privilege.
Protecting your right to drive
Unless your request a DMV hearing within 10 days of arrest, you will lose your driver’s license. Even if your license is revoked, we can apply for a hardship license, which is usually immediately granted to you. We have never had a hardship license denied to one of our clients.
Free consultation 24/7: Call West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at (561) 832-1170. Se habla español.