11th Jun 2016

Before refusing to take a breath test, it is important to consult with a criminal defense attorney in Broward County. A criminal defense attorney in Broward County can explain the legal consequences of refusing to take a breath test and when this refusal may be warranted.

Driving Implications

Every licensed Florida driver provides informed consent to take a breath or other sobriety test if he or she is validly stopped. If a driver refuses such a test, he or she can lose driving privileges. This can amount to a loss of such privileges for up to 12 months for a first offense or 18 months for a second or third refusal.

Legal Implications

In addition to potentially losing driving privileges, refusing to take a test can imply guilt in a Florida case. This may be presented as evidence against the defendant if he or she is tried before a jury.

Consult a DUI Attorney

There may be times when a DUI attorney may advise a defendant not to take a breath test. The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that a defendant’s driver’s license cannot be suspended for refusing a test if the DUI arrest was not lawful. If there is not adequate reasonable suspicion to stop the driver in the first place or if an arrest is not supported by probable cause, the refusal should not be used against the defendant in order to suspend his or her license.

A DUI attorney may raise other defenses to a DUI charge, such as the potential for inaccuracy of these machines due to incorrect calibration or an untrained person administering a test. He or she can present this evidence to the jury to explain why the defendant refused the test to combat the prosecution’s theory of guilt.

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