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The State of Florida Doesn't Require Breath Tests

Posted by attorney David Haenel

In order to make a determination whether or not someone is legally intoxicated or not, a chemical test is administered to a person. This chemical test is referred to as a breath test or a breathalyzer test, as any DUI attorney in Orlando can attest to during consultations. When an individual is suspected of drunk driving or driving under the influence, a police officer is typically the one who administers this test. The test is inefficient if the unit is not in proper working order, therefore it is possible for the breath test results to be invalid. Breath test machines are maintained and inspected by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The FDLE also determines who inspects the breath machines and who administers the tests.

While this varies from state to state, the mere act of driving on public roadways makes the driver fall within the guidelines of the implied consent laws. These implied consent laws state that consent has already been given by the driver to take the breath test. Even though implied consent is given in the state of Florida, drivers are not required to take the test. However, stiffer penalties are typically given for those refusing to take the test upon request up to and including license suspension. Drivers should be aware that the results of a breath test are admissible during court cases.

Following their arrest, drivers should be immediately advised about what ramifications they face should they decide to refuse to take the breath test. Such ramifications include a license suspension, and the fact that this information could be used against them in a court of law. The penalties are stiffer for those drivers who have experienced a license suspension in the past prior to the breath test refusal. This next refusal is then considered a misdemeanor offense and the driver's license will go through another suspension.

The first refusal of the breath test in the state of Florida will result in the driver losing their driver's license for a period of one year. If the driver refuses for a second time, or if they continue to refuse the breath test during additional occurrences in the future, the driver will experience a license suspension for at least eighteen months. These additional breath test refusals could also result in jail time and this is a good time to hire an Orlando DUI Lawyer.

Under normal circumstances, a driver cannot be forced to take the breath test. This fact holds true for the mandatory blood and urine tests also. The state of Florida is, however, allowed to perform testing if the officer believes the driver is intoxicated or under the influence while they are unconscious. This is the case, too, if individuals have not been arrested yet. On the flip side, if the officer has arrested a driver without giving them the breath test, they have the right to request that a test be administered. The arresting officer is required to administer the test upon request. This is a good idea for those who have not been drinking or using any controlled substances and are making every attempt to prove their innocence.

Additional resources provided by the author

Finebloom & Haenel P.A.
2480 33rd Street, Suite B
Orlando, Fl 32839
(407) 472-1912

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