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Can I Decline To Blow Into A Breathalyzer In Florida?


Pulled over by a police officer in Orlando, Orange County, or elsewhere in Central Florida? If that officer suspects that you are under the influence of alcohol, you may be asked to submit to a breath test. This raises an important question: Can you say no to a breathalyzer test in Florida? The short answer is that you have given your implied consent to a breath test. While an officer will not physically force you to blow, refusing to provide a sample does carry automatic penalties. Within this article, our Orlando DUI defense attorney explains the most important things that you should know about declining to blow into a breathalyzer test in Florida.

Understanding Florida’s Implied Consent Law 

Florida has an implied consent law for all motorists. When you operate a motor vehicle in Florida, you implicitly agree to submit to chemical tests—including breathalyzers—to determine the presence of alcohol if a law enforcement officer suspects you of a DUI. Your consent has been presumed by a law and it is a condition of your driving privileges in Florida. A police officer will not hold you and force you to blow, but refusal to submit carries penalties.

An Overview of DUI Refusal Penalties in Florida 

What are the penalties for refusing to blow into a breathalyzer at a DUI stop in Florida? It depends on your prior history. For a first refusal, your driver’s license can be suspended for up to one year. To be clear, the suspension is based solely on the refusal. If you have previously refused a test, any subsequent refusal can result in an 18-month suspension of your driver’s license. Further, you could be charged with a misdemeanor criminal offense based solely on the refusal. 

You Can Still Be Charged With a DUI Without a Breath Test Result 

Refusing to provide a breath sample does not stop a DUI charge from being filed. While a failed breath test is evidence in a criminal defense case, other alternative evidence can be used as well. A police officer can testify that you refused to blow. Other types of evidence—from observations made by the arresting officer to any statements made during the arrest could also be raised in a criminal case. Any penalties for a DUI conviction are added to the penalties for a DUI refusal. 

A DUI Defense Attorney Will Determine the Best Strategy for Your Case 

DUI charges are complicated—especially so in cases with allegations of a refusal to blow into a breathalyzer. Defendants need an experienced attorney on their side. A lawyer can review the case, examine all relevant evidence, and develop the most sensible strategy. 

Get Help From Our Orlando, FL DUI Defense Lawyer Today

At The Baez Law Firm, our Orlando DUI defense attorneys are standing by, ready to protect your rights and interests. If you have any questions about a breathalyzer test and a DUI case, our team can help. Contact us today to arrange a strictly private case review. From our Orlando office, we defend DWI charges in Orange County, Lake County, Seminole County, and across Central Florida.

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