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Tampa Criminal Defense
Tampa's Aggressive Criminal Defense Firm

Can You Refuse A Chemical DUI Test In Tampa?

Driving is a privilege and not a right in the United States. Because of this important distinction, in order for the state of Florida to bestow upon you the privilege of getting behind the wheel, you have to agree to some important conditions. One item you agreed to went into place the second you signed for your license. Known as implied consent, Tampa drivers essentially consented to taking DUI testing whenever the police suspect you of driving under the influence. That may not seem fair since many of you would like that decision in the moment rather than having to say yes at the DMV years ago, but such is the reality of driving in Tampa.

The legal limit for BAC in Tampa is .08. In order to arrive at this number, police will typically perform a breath or chemical test. Chemical tests are more technical in nature and require that an individual have special training in the techniques in order to properly administer the test. Because of this, chemical tests are commonly considered to be the most accurate of any of the three alcohol test (urine test is also sometimes an option). Blood and needles scare a lot of people and if given the option between the two, it is no surprise that many drivers shy away from the chemical test and opt for the breath test.  But what if you are not given an option or fail to register results on a breath test? Then saying no to a chemical DUI test in Tampa does have additional legal consequences.

Fines, criminal charges, DUI education courses, probation and jail are all potential punishments for drivers that refuse to take a chemical DUI test. These are penalties in addition to those punishments for a DUI conviction. Additionally, the prosecution in a DUI case will likely use the refusal against the driver as evidence of guilt.

One related issue to the topic of DUI refusals in general has to do with those drivers that repeatedly refuse to take DUI tests. In an attempt to discourage individuals from refusing to submit to DUI testing whenever he or she is pulled over, the state of Florida has created a separate crime for those individuals that refuse a DUI test multiple times. Considered a first degree felony, the punishments for second refusals just build on the ones for first refusals.

Just because you chose not to take a chemical DUI test in Tampa does not mean you are now without legal options. Although there are additional punishments the court can apply for refusing to take a chemical test in Tampa, you still have the right to a trial on your DUI charges. And as we know all too well, Tampa DUI cases are not as simple and “yes” and “no” responses when it comes to first or second refusals. The skilled attorneys at Finebloom & Haenel are always around to help you with your Tampa DUI defense. Give us a call today to discuss your legal options!

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