After a DUI arrest in Florida, police officers will ask the alleged offender if he/she would consent to submit a breath, blood, or urine test to determine his/her blood alcohol content (BAC) and/or detect the presence of drugs in his/her system.
However, do you have to take a chemical test after a DUI arrest in Florida? Although you have the right to decline, refusal can lead to serious administrative and criminal penalties.
According to state law, every licensed driver automatically accepts the responsibility of allowing police officers to test for the alcohol or drugs after the driver is arrested for DUI. While the legal limit is .08 percent, simply being impaired by alcohol or drugs can lead to a DUI arrest.
The following are the penalties for refusal of a post-arrest chemical test:
- First offense – Driver’s license suspension for up to one year
- Second offense – Considered a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum one-year jail sentence (or up to 12 months of probation), fines not exceeding $1,000, and driver’s license suspension for up to 18 months.
When it comes to prearrest breathalyzer tests, the implied consent laws don’t apply unless the driver is under 21 years of age. When a police officer has reason to believe a driver is driving under the influence, breathalyzers are often used to establish probable cause.
Even if you blow over the limit, the results don’t necessarily mean you are guilty. Police officers must receive extensive training to correctly administer chemical tests and ensure the testing devices are properly calibrated.
If an officer fails to properly administer a breath test by deviating from protocol or not considering certain variables that may impact the test (e.g. driver’s age and health, road conditions, weather conditions, etc.), or fails to calibrate the testing device before use, the results can be inadmissible in court. Without the test results to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, your charges may be substantially reduced, or your entire case could be dismissed.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Miami, contact Hubbs Law Firm today at (305) 570-4802 and request a free consultation.