Should You Give a Breath Sample?
If you’ve been pulled over for DUI, should you give a breath sample? The short answer is no if you have had anything at all to drink that could place you under the influence. Fort Lauderdale DUI Attorney Mark Lowry is a former prosecutor and experienced criminal defense attorney, having litigated hundreds of DUI cases throughout his career. We will sit down with you for a free consultation and discuss your rights and possible outcomes to help you understand the entire process.
After you’ve been arrested for Fort Lauderdale DUI, the officer will ask you to stand in a room at the Breath Alcohol Testing facility (BAT), and video record you while the officer and technicians at the BAT ask further questions. These may include the same questions asked at roadside about prior alcohol or drug use, or whether you would again submit to further exercises similar to the ones at roadside. Like being at roadside, these are voluntary and not recommended, as they are designed for you to fail. After these preliminary questions, you will be formally requested to give a breath or urine sample. You will be told that if you refuse to give a sample, and its your first time refusing in your driving history, your license will be immediately and automatically suspended for 12 months, and for 18 months and a misdemeanor charge if you refuse and had refused a test in the past. The State can do this because everyone that gets a Florida driver license agrees to submit to any and all testing requested. This is called “implied consent”, its written at the bottom of every Florida driver license, and states “Operation of a motor vehicle constitutes consent to any sobriety test required by law.”
The problem with the machine that tests the breath, called the Intoxilyzer, is that there are too many ways for the machine to give inaccurate results. For example, prior to giving a breath sample, officers in Florida must observe you for 20 minutes straight to make sure you haven’t burped or regurgitated (thrown up) in your mouth. The reason is these 2 acts cause a high concentration of alcohol in your mouth, which greatly throws off the results. So even just having 1 beer prior to being pulled over can result in a blood alcohol level (BAL) of above .08, the legal limit. Therefore, it is recommended to decline the breath test if you have had at least 1 alcoholic drink in the last 2 hours before the test. WE CANNOT RECOMMEND REFUSING A BREATH TEST IF YOU HAVE REFUSED A TEST PREVIOUSLY, AS THAT CONSTITUTES A MISDEMEANOR CRIME. But remember, by giving a breath test you are supplying the State with evidence against you.
If you or someone you love has been arrested for DUI in Fort Lauderdale or throughout south Florida, call or contact DUI Attorney Mark Lowry.