DUI, driving under the influence, is a serious charge and one that comes with harsh penalties if convicted. If you’re stopped for DUI in Florida, you’ll likely be given some field sobriety tests to determine whether or not you are impaired. After taking these tests, you will likely be asked to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test. Of these, the breath test is probably the least reliable and there are many variables that must be considered when reviewing the results. Some people wonder if it’s possible to refuse to take a DUI test. While you can refuse to take a DUI test, it’s probably not in your best interest to refuse – speak to your attorney if you’ve had previous DUI convictions as this could a determining factor.

Implied Consent

Florida has an implied consent law in place. By signing for and receiving your driver’s license, you agree to submit to DUI testing if requested to do so by a member of law enforcement. Failure to submit to a DUI test will result in a separate charge, which will is punishable by an automatic suspension of driving privileges for a period of a year. Additionally, the fact that you refused to take the test can be used against you in your DUI case. Therefore, in most instances, it is usually advisable to submit to a breath test.

Breathalyzer Tests

Breath tests are done through the use of a device commonly known as a breathalyzer. The breathalyzer is a favorite among law enforcement because it is portable and easy to administer at the scene of the traffic stop. In Florida, the legal drinking limit is 0.08% blood alcohol concentration. A breath test is performed by blowing directly in the device, which provides an instant readout. If you’ve submitted to such a test you should ask to see the results. If the results are inconclusive or are close to the limit, you’ll likely be placed under arrest for suspicion of DUI. Once in custody, you’ll be given a blood test, although sometimes a urine test may be performed. Both blood and urine tests are sent to a laboratory for processing.

DUI Test Accuracy

There are many factors that must be considered when administering DUI tests and evaluating their results. A breath test may be inaccurate, especially if you recently had a drink but are not actually legally over the limit. The test can sometimes show a higher BAC than is actually present. Administering blood and urine tests should be done about 2 to 3 hours after you’ve had the last drink. This allows your body time to process the alcohol. A little known fact is that you can actually have a sample tested by your own independent source if you desire. It can be well worth the cost, especially if you are testing very close to the legal limit.

Fighting DUI Charges

Fighting DUI charges is a complex process and one that often differs from case to case. The first step is to hire an experienced DUI attorney with particular focus in reviewing and analyzing DUI test results. Breath test equipment must be working properly and must be maintained and tested on a regular basis. If the initial DUI breath test results are in question, there may not be enough evidence to prosecute your case. Your lawyer will review every aspect of your situation from the initial traffic stop to your arrest, to determine the best way to defend your case. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure the best possible results.