Challenging the Evidence of a Breath Test

With our experience and our commitment to our clients, we are confident in our ability to help you challenge your charges. To build a defense against BAC results, a lawyer must examine multiple aspects of your case. 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. The size or health of the individual might weigh on the results if skews the test results.

Other things that change breath tests include:

  • The test was administered by an individual who was not trained in breath test administration
  • The device was not properly maintained or regularly calibrated by state standards
  • A physical condition unrelated to alcohol consumption led to a falsely high result
  • The defendant vomited, belched, ate, drank, or smoked 15 minutes or less before the test

The officer must determine that the subject of the DUI 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 before 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 could argue to have the results removed as evidence in the trial. Our legal team has years of experience with DUI defense and knows 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 Florida, if you get a driver’s license, you are also consenting to taking an approved chemical or physical test when you’re pulled over. This will be administered when an officer has reason to believe that you have been driving under the influence of alcohol.

According to Florida law, chemical or physical tests must be done following a lawful arrest. 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 would result in license suspension, you may 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.

Roadside Breath Tests

A common question associated with driving under the influence is whether a driver must submit to a roadside breath test. The answer may vary depending on the specific circumstances. If a driver is pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, they may face administrative license suspension for refusing a roadside breath test. As every case is different, it is important to get detailed information that applies to your unique situation. An attorney can provide you with the insight you need to make informed decisions about your case.

Portable Breath Tests (Preliminary Alcohol Screening) in Florida

Roadside breath tests are referring to a specific type of breath test administered before a driver is arrested for DUI. Often referred to as a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test, this type of test is typically administered using a portable device in the field, as opposed to a formal test conducted at the police station after a driver is taken into custody on suspicion of DUI. Refusing a portable test is not without risk. If a person refuses a test in Florida, they face license suspension unless their lawyer can show that their DUI arrest was not warranted. Additionally, refusing a breath test may create suspicion that the person accused of DUI was trying to hide their level of intoxication.

If you have been charged with a DUI, there is hope! Rely on the Tampa DUI attorneys at Thomas & Paulk to defend you. We’ve handled thousands of cases, so call (813) 321-7323 for a free consultation of your case!

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DUI Defense in Florida

At Thomas & Paulk, one of our primary focuses is on the defense of DUI charges. In fact, we are recognized throughout the Tampa area as one of the premier DUI defense law firms. Our team is well-versed in this area of the law and has a wide-expanse of experience in helping our clients fight against such charges.

It doesn’t matter if this is your first offense or your third, you can count on our firm to protect your legal rights. Often, our defense starts with recounting with you how the police officer came to stop you in the first place and how he or she came to believe you may be under the influence of alcohol. If the stop was illegal, or the tests were improperly administered, we may be able to argue for the dismissal of that evidence in court, helping your chances of a dropped charge.

If you would like to learn more about how our team can help, contact us today.

  • If you're arrested for DUI, you only have 10 days to schedule a DMV hearing where you can fight to save your license.

  • A blood alcohol reading of 0.15% or more can warrant an aggravated DUI charge with harsher penalties.

  • Each year, Hillsborough County issues around 4,000 DUI citations. Out of these, more than 3,000 are found guilty.

  • Per Florida's zero-tolerance policy, anyone under the age of 21 who tests positive for any measurable blood alcohol can be charged with DUI.

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