Breathalyzer or Not?

Breathalyzer or Not?

Florida's Implied Consent Law

Ft. Lauderdale DUI Defense Attorney

As a condition of being issued a Florida driver's license, you agree to provide a breath or urine sample to law enforcement if requested to do so.  You are however Constitutionally entitled to refuse and in many cases it may be legally advantageous to do so.  If you are arrested for drunk driving in Florida and you refuse a breath or urine test, your license will be suspended for 1 year for a first refusal and for 18 months for a second offense.  A second refusal is a misdemeanor under Florida Law.  Despite the consequences however, by refusing you are likely giving your attorney a better chance of being able to achieve a successful result for your DUI case when you case goes to court. 

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Ft. Lauderdale DUI Attorney

Blood Alcohol Testing in Florida

When a person is arrested for DUI in Florida, the arresting officer is required to read to them the implied consent warning.  A failure to warn a driver of their right to refuse can be grounds to have the breath results excluded from court.  Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is usually measured using a machine called the Intoxylizer.  There are administrative guidelines with regard to the calibration and maintenance of these machines and a failure to comply with these guidelines can render breath test results inadmissible in court.   All breath tests for alcohol that are performed in Florida are done using the Intoxilyzer 8000 machine.  The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has set out very strict operator guidelines which proscribe the manner in which breath tests are to be administered.  Florida courts have adopted a "substantial compliance" standard with regard to adherence to the guidelines by the breath test operator.  A failure to substantially comply with the proscribed procedures provides an opportunity for an experienced DUI attorney to have the breath test results suppressed. 


Why should you consider refusing a breath or urine test?

It may be advisable to consider declining either a breath or urine test for the following reasons:

  • The results of any blood, breath or urine test are admissible in a Broward or Palm Beach courtroom.
  • If you are being asked to give a breath or urine sample, you have already been arrested for DUI.  If you are intoxicated, providing a sample will give the police and the State Attorney's office strong evidence of intoxication.

A person does not violate the implied consent statute by refusing to give a breath sample after being unlawfully arrested

A driver's license suspension can be based upon the refusal to take a breath test, but only if the refusal is incident to a lawful arrest.  A driver whose license is threatened with suspension as a result of a refusal can challenge the lawfulness of the arrest before a DMV administrative review hearing.  Fort Lauderdale DUI defense lawyer Antonio D. Quinn, Esq. regularly appears before the local DMV hearing officers on behalf of the clients of Quinn Law, P.A. and he is experienced and knowledgeable about the DMV formal review process.

Penalties for Refusal

The first time that a person refuses to submit to a blood, breath or urine test, the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles will automatically suspend their driving privileges for one year.

A second or subsequent refusal is a misdemeanor of the first degree and will lead to an 18 month DL suspension.

Aggressive Broward DUI Defense

According to the FDLE guidelines, an "approved breath test" consists of a minimum of two breath samples taken within 15 minutes of each other producing two samples which must be within .02 g/210L in order to be admissible.  A failure of the breath test operator to substantially comply with the administrative guidelines would provide grounds for an experienced DUI lawyer to have the breath results suppressed and excluded from trial.   Whether you chose to give a breath or urine sample at the time of your DUI arrest or not, you need a reputable and knowledgeable DUI attorney to represent your interests.  To schedule an appointment with an experienced Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney contact Quinn Law, P.A. at (954) 463-0440

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