Breath Tests and Refusals

Should I Refuse a Breath Test?

People often wonder whether they should refuse to complete field sobriety tests (FST) or breath tests if stopped or arrested on suspicion of drunk driving (DUI). It is natural to want to cooperate with police officers in the hope that they will not arrest you. However, taking FSTs and breath tests can actually make your case worse.

Information From a Lawyer With 15 Years of Criminal Law Experience

We provide some information below about refusing these tests in Florida so that drivers have the ability to make informed decisions. At the Bradenton and Sarasota law offices of MSPerryLaw, our attorneys are experienced legal advocates who have helped many clients after they refused a breath or field sobriety test. We understand the issues involved in these matters and develop strong cases for people facing DUI charges, whether or not they refused a breath test.

Things You Should Know About Breath Tests in Florida

The law does not require you to take a breath test when arrested for DUI. However, you should consider the following when deciding whether or not to take the test.

  • Florida has an implied consent law, which means that by obtaining a driver's license in the state you have consented to take a breath test when requested by law enforcement. If you do refuse, police must read you the implied consent law. If they do not, your refusal cannot be used against you.
  • There are consequences to your license if you refuse the breath test. Your license could be suspended for up to 18 months after a first refusal. However, we can help you fight suspension at a DMV hearing.
  • The police officer must observe you for 20 minutes before administering the test. If this does not happen and you take the test, it may be inadmissible.
  • There have been many issues around calibrating of the breath test machine. An experienced DUI attorney can review these for you.
  • The police officer who conducts the breath test must be properly trained and certified. If the test is performed by an unlicensed person, the results will likely be thrown out.
  • You could be charged with a second misdemeanor if this is the second time you refused a breath test.

Contact attorney Michael Perry online or call 941-365-4000 to schedule your free initial consultation about breath tests and refusals.