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By Jessica Travis on Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Getting arrested for a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) can be life altering.In Florida, the legal Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) for a person over 21 years of age is .08%. This means that if a person has a .08% or over level of blood to alcohol ratio when operating a vehicle, they will be arrested for driving under the influence. A person’s BAL is often measured by a Breathalyzer device conducted by the arresting officer. The penalties for blowing over a .08% are not taken lightly. With the loss of a license to possible jail time for a DUI infraction, the question many people soon begin to ponder becomes, “If I’m pulled over for possible DUI suspicion, do I blow into the Breathalyzer or not?”. This question is a tough one to definitively answer and must be explored deeper in order to make a mindful decision.
If a person finds themselves in a circumstance in which an officer is asking them to take the Breathalyzer test, they can refuse. However, the consequences for refusing this test can be a possible suspension of the license for 1 year, and a 90 day period of no driving whatsoever.
If, on the other hand, an individual decides to take the breath-test and blows a.08% or over, they may lose their license for up to 6 months and may be subjected to a 30 day period where they cannot drive at all.
With the options of whether to submit to a Breathalyzer or not becoming clearer, the question then becomes, why must an individual be forced to either subject themselves to the breath-test or be penalized for refusing? The answer, whether one believes it is a fair one or not, can be found in the Florida “Implied Consent Law”. The law states that if a driver is pulled over, an officer can require the driver to take a blood, urine, or breath test in order to measure the driver’s BAL level. The officer can require these tests to be done without overreaching his or her authority because each individual driver has agreed to take these test upon request. The driver has made this agreement when they are being issued their license and sign their signature on the license.
Recently, as DUI laws have become more stringent, courts and legal authorities have taken a closer look into the debate that often surrounds DUIs. Specifically, there has been a lot of controversy as to the accuracy of the Breathalyzer test. Breathalyzers are the most common used device when assessing an individual’s BAL. Florida law enforcement officers use the Intoxilyzer 8000. Although the Intoxilyzer 8000 test can be done quickly at the scene of the stop and the results can be configured almost instantly, recent studies have shown that this device may be unreliable and can give incorrect measurements of a person’s BAL. Due to this fact, attorneys often battle over whether an Intoxilyzer 8000 reading can be used against an individual in court.
Measuring an individual’s BAL by conducting a blood test is a much more accurate way to asses if someone has operated a vehicle over the legal limit. However, measuring the BAL this way is not as practical as a Breathalyzer. Requesting a driver to submit to a blood test is time consuming, for the test must be administered at a hospital by licensed medical employee. Also, a person’s BAL can decrease from the time they have been pulled over to the time their blood is taken. Due to these factors and other concerns, officers often only rely on the Breathalyzer test, unless the person requests a blood test.
Although looking at these rules and regulations regarding DUI stops may shine some light on the issue, DUI cases are complex and complicated. Therefore, to make sure your rights are not being violated when you are stopped behind the wheel, it is best to consult with a knowledgeable attorney who can inform you about all the legal rights you are entitled to.
Orlando Probation Violation Lawyer
Central Florida Criminal Law And Probation Violation Attorney Serving Osceola, Orlando And Orange County. Committed. Skilled. Fair legal services.
FAILED A DRUG TEST WHILE ON PROBATION? I CAN HELP!
Accusations of probation violations have serious consequences, but you are not helpless to their consequences. You can fight back.
Contact the Law Office of Jessica Travis, P.A., in Orlando, Florida, and I can meet with you confidentially, discuss your options and help you limit — or eliminate — any negative consequences of an alleged probation violation.