Should a driver take a breath test in Florida?

On Behalf of | May 2, 2019 | Firm News |

Police are always on the lookout for impaired drivers in Florida. Their goal is to pull over potential drunk drivers before they have a chance to cause irreparable harm. There are many stories of drunk drivers killing others as a result of their actions, such as one Florida resident who recently received a 10-year prison sentence for killing an off-duty police officer while driving intoxicated.

Many people pulled over by officers may worry about losing a court case down the line. The officers will try to gather evidence at the scene, which may entail a breath test and other roadside sobriety tests. While an officer cannot force people to comply, it is generally in a driver’s best interest to do so.

Drivers give implied consent if the officer arrests them

Drivers do not have to submit to a breath test if an officer has not arrested them yet. However, there may be evidence present that gives the officer reasonable suspicion to place them under arrest. For example, the officer may smell alcohol on a driver’s breath. Once police arrest an individual, he or she gives implied consent. Under Florida law, this means the driver implicitly agrees to submit to breath, urine and blood tests. Failure to do so will result in the automatic suspension of his or her driver’s license.

Drivers should submit to all testing

Many people think they should allow the state to suspend their licenses. After all, it seems better than giving the officer more evidence. However, that may not always be the case. If this is the first DUI offense and blood alcohol concentration is lower than 0.16%, then the driver may qualify for a diversionary program. The state will drop all charges once the program is complete. There are options for defense, so refusing a test may actually be the worst option available.

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