Getting pulled over for driving under the influence of alcohol can be a terrifying experience, especially when you’re not sure what to do next. In Florida, motorists who are suspected of DUI are often asked to take a breathalyzer test to measure their blood alcohol content (BAC). However, what happens when you refuse to blow into the breathalyzer machine? Refusing to take the test may seem like a good idea at the time, but it can have significant consequences on your DUI case. In this article, we will explore what refusing to blow means for your legal rights, the potential consequences of refusing to take the breathalyzer test, and what you can do to protect your legal rights if you find yourself in this situation. So, buckle up and get ready to navigate the legal system in Florida like a pro!
Understanding DUI charges in Florida
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Florida, and it can result in severe penalties, including fines, license suspension, and even jail time. For drivers over 21, the legal limit is 0.08% BAC. For those under 21, the legal limit is .02% BAC. If you are pulled over by law enforcement and they suspect that you are under the influence of alcohol, they may ask you to take a breathalyzer test to measure your BAC.
What is a refusal to blow?
A refusal to blow, or a refusal to take a breathalyzer test, occurs when a driver declines to submit to a breath test after being pulled over for suspected DUI. It is important to note that Florida has an “implied consent” law, which means that by obtaining a driver’s license and driving on Florida roads, you have already given your consent to take a breathalyzer test if requested by law enforcement. Refusing to take the test can result in immediate consequences, including the suspension of your driver’s license.
Consequences of refusing to blow in Florida
Refusing to blow can have significant consequences on your DUI case, both in terms of legal penalties and the impact on your defense. Under Florida law, if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for a period of one year. This is known as an administrative suspension, and it can occur even if you are not ultimately convicted of DUI. The administrative suspension of your driver’s license can make it difficult to go about your daily life, especially if you rely on your car for work or other important activities.
In addition to the administrative suspension, a refusal to blow can also be used against you in court as evidence of guilt. Prosecutors may argue that your refusal to take the test indicates that you knew you were under the influence of alcohol and that you were trying to avoid getting caught. This is called a “consciousness of guilt” argument. This can make it more difficult to mount a successful defense against the DUI charge.
How refusal to blow affects your DUI case
Besides the negative effects of a refusal, there are also potential benefits to refusing to blow. By refusing the test, you are denying the prosecution a key piece of evidence that they may use against you in court. Additionally, you are not providing any incriminating evidence that could be used to strengthen the prosecution’s case.
Defending a DUI charge with refusal to blow
If you refuse to blow and are subsequently charged with DUI, it is important to mount a strong defense against the charges. One potential strategy is to argue that the prosecution does not have enough evidence to prove that you were under the influence of alcohol. This may be more difficult if you refused the breathalyzer test, but it is not impossible.
Another potential defense is to argue that the refusal to blow was not a conscious decision, but rather a result of confusion or fear. For example, if you were not properly informed of your rights or if the police officer used coercive tactics to pressure you into taking the test, you may be able to argue that your refusal was not voluntary and should not be admissible in court.
Remember, the State of Florida has the burden of proving any criminal charge against the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that with a refusal or a valid breath test, the State of Florida must prove that you were driving a motor vehicle, or in actual physical control of the vehicle. They also have to prove that you were under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances to the extent that your normal faculties were impaired.
Legal options for those who refuse to blow
If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test and are subsequently charged with DUI, it is important to consult with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and can work to mount a strong defense against the charges. One potential legal option for those who refuse to blow is to challenge the administrative suspension of their driver’s license. Your attorney can help you file an appeal of the suspension and can represent you at the hearing. Additionally, your attorney can work to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecution and seek a reduction of the charge(s).
The importance of legal representation in DUI cases
If you are facing DUI charges in Florida, it is crucial to have experienced legal representation on your side. DUI cases can be quite complex, and the penalties for a conviction can be severe. An experienced DUI attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options, can work to mount a strong defense against the charges, and can help you navigate the legal system in Florida.
Refusing to blow into a breathalyzer machine may seem like a good idea at the time, but it can have significant consequences on your DUI case. In Florida, refusing to take the test can result in the suspension of your driver’s license and can be used as evidence of guilt in court. However, there are also potential benefits to refusing the test, including denying the prosecution a key piece of evidence. If you find yourself facing DUI charges in Florida, it is important to consult with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. With the right legal representation, you can navigate the legal system like a pro and work to protect your legal rights and interests.
At Finkelstein Firm, P.A., we understand that facing a criminal charge can be frightening and overwhelming. Due to the potential consequences associated with a DUI conviction, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced defense attorney right away. Ms. Finkelstein has over 18 years of experience defending citizens charged with DUI and related offenses. She has the knowledge and skill to fight for the best result in your case. Ms. Finkelstein is accessible and dependable when you need her the most. Contact us today for a free analysis of your case. Our firm handles cases in Pinellas County and the surrounding areas to include Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Pasco, and Polk Counties. Call us today at (727) 306-4141 to learn your legal options if you have been accused of DUI, whether a misdemeanor or felony. Your Defense Starts Here!