If you are lawfully arrested in Clearwater for a DUI, the breath test is one type of test permitted by Florida Law to determine the presence of alcohol or chemical substance. According to this law, anyone who operates a vehicle in the state of Florida is deemed to have given consent to submit to an approved breath or urine test at the request of the police officer. The request for testing is greatly limited in that it must be made incident to a lawful arrest. Further, the police must have an independent reasonable cause, apart from the results of the breath test, for believing the person was driving under the influence. If you believe your breath test violated the requirements of this law, you may have a successful DUI defense.
If you refused to submit to a breath test in Clearwater, you could be facing enhanced consequences above those attached to the actual DUI. A first refusal will result in suspension of your license for 1 year. If your license has been previously suspended for refusal to submit to testing, your license will be suspended for 18 months and you will be charged with a misdemeanor offense in addition to the DUI offense. Any refusal can be used as evidence against you in any criminal proceeding in Clearwater and is often attached with a presumption of guilt.
If you were administered a breath test following an arrest in Clearwater, the outcome of your DUI will depend on the resulting breath alcohol level. If the blood alcohol level is under the legal limit of 0.08, your license will not instantly be taken or suspended. The State Attorney may still decide to prosecute your case; however, success for these prosecutions is difficult to obtain. If the result of your breath test is over a 0.08, your license will immediately be suspended for 6 months, although you are eligible to apply for a hardship license after 30 days. A breath alcohol level over the legal limit of 0.08 does not indicate automatic guilt of a DUI in Clearwater. The State Attorney must still present and prove every element of the case. The breath alcohol level will be based upon many factors including your height, weight, number of drinks consumed, and length of time passed since your last drink, among others. Often times there can be factors that affect the accuracy of the breath test such as maintenance and use of the machine, physical diseases or ailments of the driver or something as simple as cell phones, lip balm and breath mints. If you have been arrested for a DUI in Clearwater, don't assume your guilt. Call our attorneys today at 727-222-3610 to start your defense.