What Breathalyzer Tests Mean to You as a Motorist

If you are pulled over by a police officer who suspects you are guilty of Florida DUI, you may be asked to submit to a breathalyzer test. During the traffic stop, the officer must inform you of the consequences of failing to submit to the breathalyzer test.


What is a Breathalyzer Test for Florida DUI?

A breathalyzer test is a method of chemical measurement of the level of alcohol in your body. It is the most commonly used chemical test for Florida DUI suspects, as the machines are easily portable and the test is non-invasive. To perform the test, the subject merely blows into a small tube connected to the electronic measuring device.

If the breathalyzer test registers at .08 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath, the officer may arrest you on charges of Florida DUI. There are many myths regarding how to cheat a test, such as eating breath mints, sucking on a penny, or belching/vomiting before blowing the test, but none have proven to consistently alter results and may further incriminate you.


Your Rights to Refusal of a Breathalyzer Test and Consequences

Currently you have the right to refuse a roadside breathalyzer test, but it is important to understand the potential consequences of doing so. Your Miami DUI defense attorney will inform you that your refusal can be used as evidence in your Florida DUI hearing.

If you choose to refuse the test it can result in the suspension of your driver’s license for 1 year and up to 18 months if you have a prior suspension. It is also important to note that if your driving privilege had been previously suspended due to refusal of a breathalyzer test and you refuse again, you will be charged with a misdemeanor for this violation.


Potential Changes to Your Right to Refuse

More aggressive actions to prevent Florida DUI have been in the works for several months starting in 2011. One of the latest improvements to the Florida Highway Patrol’s initiatives is the pending use of “no refusal” checkpoints, which are also being used in other states.

While Florida DUI checkpoints have been around for years, this new type of checkpoint will involve more legally binding requirements to submit to a breathalyzer test. At a “no refusal” checkpoint you will be asked to submit to a breathalyzer test if the officer has reasonable suspicion you are guilty of a Florida DUI.

What differentiates a “no refusal” checkpoint from a standard Florida DUI checkpoint is that if you do refuse the breathalyzer test, there will be a judge on site to issue a warrant to allow the officer to administer a mandatory blood test. Several Florida counties are already using these new methods and are heavily advertising their locations to pre-deter drivers from operating their vehicles while intoxicated.

If you are arrested for a Florida DUI, it’s important to contact a Miami DUI defense attorney as soon as possible to being working on your case. Breathalyzer tests can be mistaken and can be questioned before or during your DUI trial, which may result in your charges being reduced or dismissed.