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Can I refuse to take a Breathalyzer test? 

On Behalf of | Aug 18, 2021 | DUI Defense

There are several reasons why a police officer may make the decision to pull you over and request a Breathalyzer test. For example, they may claim that you had momentarily veered into the opposite lane and they think your eyes look glassy.

Perhaps you have consumed some alcohol before setting off in your vehicle and are unsure if you’re still under the legal limit. Are you entitled to refuse a Breathalyzer test during a DUI stop?

The law of implied consent

The law in Florida states that simply by possessing a driving license, you give your implied consent for an approved Breathalyzer test. Clearly, this implied consent cannot force you to literally blow into the Breathalyzer. However, it is important to know the potential consequences of refusing to take a Breathalyzer test. 

Refusing to take a Breathalyzer test

According to Florida’s law of implied consent, any person who refuses to take a Breathalyzer test is subject to a mandatory license suspension. Refusing a test for the first time will typically result in a one-year suspension. Moreover, repeat offenses will usually result in a suspension of eighteen months and potentially even jail time. 

Refusing a chemical breath test may be an option but that doesn’t mean it is the most rational choice. Actually, refusing a test often results in a worse outcome than simply taking it in the first place. 

Florida’s Diversion Program

By refusing a Breathalyzer test you also automatically disqualify yourself from Florida’s Diversion Program. This could be detrimental as participants of the program tend to receive a lighter sentence than those who have had a chemical test. 

What to do if you have blown over the limit

It is vital to familiarize yourself with Florida’s laws in relation to DUI charges. Such offenses can have lasting impacts on your life, so take the time to explore all possible defenses when faced with DUI charges.