About the Breath Test

An individual who is arrested for DUI in Tampa, Florida will be asked to submit to a chemical test, most often a breath test, to determine their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Also referred to as a breathalyzer test, the breath test is administered using a device called the Intoxilyzer 8000. This machine measures the concentration of alcohol deep within the driver's lungs and uses a formula to then determine the amount of alcohol in the driver's blood.

There is no way to determine with complete accuracy the driver's BAC by taking a breath sample. The possibility of skewed test results is increased even further in the presence of an improperly administered test. If you took a breath test after an arrest and had a result of 0.08 percent or greater, this does not mean that you should or will be convicted of DUI.

Challenging the Evidence of a Breath Test in Tampa, FL

Let Thomas & Paulk help you fight your charges to avoid a conviction. With our experience in criminal defense representation and our commitment to our clients, we are confident in our ability to help you challenge your charges. Defense against DUI conviction using the results of a BAC result includes a degree of scrutiny on a number of levels.

A DUI attorney on the case will examine the device used and the results. Factors that may contribute to the credit of that evidence include whether the test was administered correctly, whether it was administered by a trained professional and whether the device was calibrated in accordance to state regulations and standards. Other factors that can affect how the test results are view in court involve the actual defendant during the time of the arrest.

The activities of the individual in question may weigh on the results if their nature was such to magnify the existence of alcohol in the bloodstream as shown by the test. Recent dental work and the use of dentures can contribute to the presence of "mouth alcohol", a common mistake made through the use of breath tests. It is the duty of the officer to determine that the subject of the test fits the required criteria and is a good candidate for accurate results. The officer is also required to observe the subject for 20 minutes prior to conducting a breath test. It is their responsibility to make sure the device is properly calibrated and that the test is conducted in a manner to encourage accurate results.

If the officer failed in this duty, a DUI attorney can argue to have the results removed as evidence in the trial. To learn more about the possible defenses against seemingly incriminatory breath test results, contact Thomas & Paulk, P.A. Our legal team has years of experience in the area of DUI defense and knowledge behind the science and function of the breathalyzer test devices. We can provide you with a capable DUI attorney in Tampa to argue for your defense and help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

Refusal of a Breath Test in Florida

In the state of Florida, if you accept driving privileges you are also, by law, giving your consent to submit to an approved chemical or physical test. This may be administered should you be lawfully arrested when a law enforcement officer has reason to believe that you have been driving under the influence of alcohol. Per Florida Statutes §316.1932, the chemical or physical tests must be done following a lawful arrest and does not preclude the administration of another form of testing. Should you refuse to submit to this test, you will be facing automatic penalties - including driver's license suspension.

Per Florida Statutes §316.1939, if you have been lawfully arrested for DUI and were informed that refusal to submit to such a test will result in license suspension, will be facing a misdemeanor. For a first time refusal, the license suspension will last for one calendar year. If you refuse the test and have done so before, you will be facing an 18 month suspension. The refusal to submit to a breath test is also admissible into any future criminal proceedings.

By getting the involvement of our Tampa DUI lawyers, can you take the necessary steps to fight for your future. We have over 20 years of aggregate experience and have handled 7,000+ criminal cases. Contact us today to learn how we can put that to work for you.

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