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Tampa Criminal Defense
Tampa's Aggressive Criminal Defense Firm

Can You Refuse A Breath Test In Tampa, Florida?

Driving with a BAC of .08 or above in Florida is a very bad idea. The police in Tampa are always on the lookout for drunk drivers and do not look kindly on those drivers that do not cooperate with the system. But a .08 BAC is not a number police can arrive at without the help of chemical testing. To determine with such specificity if a driver is over the legal limit in Tampa, police will often request that the driver take a breath test. The breath test measures a driver’s blood alcohol level by determining the amount of ethanol (a key ingredient in alcohol) in his or her breath.

Did you know that when you signed for your driver’s license you also consented to DUI testing? Well you did and because of this agreement with the state of Florida, refusal to take a chemical blood or breath DUI test can lead to additional consequences. So to answer the question posed in the title of this blog, you can refuse a breath test in Tampa but you should know what you are getting into when you do.

Here’s a look at 6 reasons to think twice before refusing a breath test in Tampa:

  1. Suspended License: A mandatory license suspension is a penalty specifically attached to refusing to take a breath test. This suspension carries a twelve month minimum but can be much longer depending on the specific factors involved in your case.
  2. Fines: Every DUI carries a mandatory fine in addition to restitution payments (if applicable), costs associated with probation and any court costs.
  3. Criminal charges: The actual charge (misdemeanor, felony, etc.) can vary depending on the specifics of your case but the unfortunate additional side effect of a criminal conviction is its’ presence on your criminal record.
  4. DUI education courses: Enrollment and completion of a DUI education course is another popular punishment. The length and nature of the courses vary. The goal of any DUI education course is to teach drivers about the consequences of driving under the influence and reform their behavior.
  5. Probation: Probation is also a common punishment for most DUI offenses.
  6. Jail: On a first time DUI charge, a jail sentence is always a possibility but not necessarily the norm. Depending on the timing of a second and third DUI offense to a previous one, jail is a statutory requirement.

If you have refused a breath test, all is not lost. Although there are additional punishments for refusing to take a breath test, you still have the right to a trial on your charges.  Working with an attorney to fight your DUI charge can help get you the best results possible and also alleviate some of the stress associated with this complicated process. The skilled attorneys at Finebloom & Haenel are always available to help you with your Tampa DUI defense. Call today for a free consultation!


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