Breath Test Refusal Attorney in Lutz, Florida
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 31% of fatalities from traffic accidents in the US involve drivers who are over the legal alcohol limit (with a BAC of .08 or more). Because of this, getting pulled over, arrested for, or charged with a DUI offense can be very serious. And, navigating the murky waters of DUI law, especially when it comes to the pivotal decision of whether to refuse a breath test, can seem daunting. If you find yourself in this situation, you deserve to understand your rights, next steps, and options. We at Randall C. Grantham, P.A., are here to help.
As a seasoned criminal defense attorney based in Lutz/Land O'Lakes, Pasco County, Florida, we've represented countless clients across Pasco and Hillsborough County. We've seen firsthand the issues that come with DUI charges and the decision to refuse a breath test. When you work with us, your concerns will be heard, questions will be answered, and you will be guided through the legal process.
Administration of Breath Tests
Breath tests are a common tool in DUI cases. They use a breathalyzer device to analyze the alcohol content in your breath. It's a straightforward procedure, but it carries significant legal implications, especially if you choose to refuse the test. While the breath test machine (Intoxilyzer) can give consistent results, it is calculating the "average person's" Blood Alcohol Level based on a sample of your breath. The machine's calculations are based on assumptions that do not apply to each individual. It is also temperature-sensitive and subject to radio frequency interruptions from nearby electronics.
Can I Refuse a DUI Breath Test?
While you can legally refuse a breath test, there can be long-term consequences for refusal, unless your case is dismissed. In Florida, as in many other states, an implied consent law is in effect. This means that by driving a vehicle, you're agreeing to submit to a breath test if suspected of DUI. However, you do have the right to refuse, even if this decision isn't without consequences.
If you flunk the test (blow over .08) or refuse it your license will be suspended and it is very important for you to consult an attorney within the first10 days as there are certain steps that need to be taken within that time period to protect your rights and keep your ability to drive intact.
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Understanding Implied Consent Law
Implied consent law is a statute that applies to all drivers who operate a vehicle on public roads. By virtue of driving, you are considered to have given your consent to chemical testing (such as breath, urine but, not necessarily, blood tests) if law enforcement suspects you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
This law is predicated on the social contract theory, where driving is a privilege, not a right, and this privilege comes with certain conditions for the safety of all road users. In Florida, for instance, refusal can lead to automatic suspension of your driver's license. Therefore, understanding the specifics of the implied consent law and its implications is crucial when making decisions in a DUI situation.
Consequences of Refusing a Breathalyzer Test
Refusing a breathalyzer test can lead to significant ramifications. Apart from the automatic suspension of your driver's license, your refusal can be used as evidence against you in court. Prosecutors may argue that your refusal indicates consciousness of guilt. Therefore, a robust defense strategy is vital if you decide to refuse a breath test.
What if the Equipment Was Faulty?
What happens if the breathalyzer equipment was faulty or improperly calibrated during your arrest? You might be able to challenge the validity of the test results. As your experienced attorney, we can investigate the circumstances surrounding the test administration and determine if there are grounds for a defense based on faulty equipment.
Next Steps if You’ve Been Arrested for DUI
If you've been arrested for DUI and are considering refusing a breath test, it's critical to act immediately to protect your rights:
First and foremost, immediately get in touch with a DUI defense attorney. They will be able to provide you with expert legal guidance during this critical time.
Relay all the details of your case to your attorney. This information will assist in understanding your situation better and shaping your defense strategy.
Discuss your options with your attorney. They will lay out all possible choices and help you make informed decisions about each one, including the refusal of a breath test.
Allow your attorney to review the conditions surrounding the breathalyzer test administration. If the equipment was faulty or improperly calibrated, this could form a strong defense strategy.
Navigating a breath test refusal case requires the right legal representation. Our seasoned attorney has a deep understanding of the law and effective defense strategies. We're dedicated to upholding justice and protecting your rights throughout the legal process.
Breath Test Refusal Attorney in Lutz, Florida
If you're facing DUI charges and are contemplating refusing a breath test, don't go it alone. At Randall C. Grantham, P.A., we bring our years of experience in criminal defense to the table, having successfully handled numerous cases involving breath test refusal. If you're in the Lutz area and need assistance with a breath test refusal case, reach out to us today. Give our office a call to schedule a free consultation. Let us advocate for you every step of the way.