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What Happens If I Refuse a Chemical Test After a DUI Arrest?

In the event of a DUI arrest in Florida, law enforcement will ask you to take a breath, blood, or urine test to determine your BAC or for drugs. But what happens if you refuse?

According to the state’s implied consent laws, if an officer establishes probable cause and makes a lawful arrest, then you automatically consent to take a chemical test. However, if you are asked to take multiple chemical tests, you are allowed to refuse to take the additional test.

If you refuse to take a post-arrest chemical test for the first time, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for one year. For a second or subsequent offense, the suspension period is up to 18 months and could possibly result in jail time.

When it comes to a roadside preliminary alcohol screen (PAS) test before an officer establishes probable cause, you can refuse to take a test. Also known as a breathalyzer test, the PAS test requires you to blow into a device to determine BAC. Even if you have been arrested, you can still refuse a PAS test and instead request a breath or blood test at the police station.

There are some people who believe refusing a chemical test after a DUI arrest will bode well for them during trial, since a refusal means that law enforcement doesn’t have any proof that your BAC was over the legal limit. Unfortunately, prosecutors can use your refusal against you by claiming that you knew that you were guilty of drunk driving, which led to your refusal.

But just because you are arrested and failed the post-arrest chemical test doesn’t automatically result in a conviction. There are many factors which can have a significant impact on the results of the testing devices.

For example, failure to properly calibrate the device before testing can lead to inadequate results, which can cause your attorney to file a motion to suppress the evidence against you in court. Police officers must receive proper training before they can administer these tests. Additionally, perhaps there was a lack of probable cause before being tested for BAC or prior to the initial traffic stop, which makes the results invalid.

If you have been arrested for a DUI, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and future. Your lawyer can investigate your case, determine whether or not police made a lawful arrest and if the testing devices were properly calibrated, and develop an effective defense strategy to get the best results possible.

Contact our Seminole County DUI attorney at The Law Office of David A. Webster, P.A. and schedule a free consultation for more information today.

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