Being pulled over for a DUI can be a stressful experience especially if you are asked to take a drug or alcohol test afterward. A popular misconception is that people are obligated to consent to drug or alcohol testing, however, refusal of DUI testing in West Palm Beach is legal. Refusing to take a drug test or a breathalyzer might be legal but it does have consequences of its own which is why you should get in touch with a skilled DUI attorney who is experienced in dealing with these types of offenses and can help build a defense.
Breath Test Refusal
Typically, the most used test in West Palm Beach is the breath test. Even if an officer does not think any alcohol is involved, they follow the script, and take the person to the county jail and ask the person to give a breath test. If the person gives a breath test and they blow under the legal limit, then the police will typically ask the person for a urine test to test for drugs.
Blood tests are typically only given first when a breath test is impractical or impossible or if the person is in the hospital and cannot come to the facility to give a breath test. If there is an accident with serious injuries or death, they will ask for blood as well.
If the person refuses to take a breath test, their license is subject to suspension for either a period of a minimum of twelve months or a maximum of up to 18 months depending on whether or not the person had previously refused to take a breath test or have taken a breath test in the past and failed it.
Impact of Implied Consent Laws
In regards to the concept of due process, when a person signs their initial driver’s license they have consented, as a condition of being licensed in the State of Florida, to any tests requested by a law enforcement officer. An officer will remind a driver that they consented to a breath test as a condition of getting their license, so refusal of DUI testing in West Palm Beach constitutes a valid reason for suspending that person’s license. The person will lose that license if they do not take that test.
It is presumed that if a person is licensed in the State of Florida, they will submit to a chemical test of their blood, breath or urine if they are asked to do so by a law enforcement officer. It is the implied consent law that gives the government the right to suspend a person’s license as a consequence of the person refusing to take that test. Implied consent applies to breath tests, blood tests, and urine tests as well.
A person arrested for DUI who has refused to take a breath test must enroll in a DUI school prior to becoming eligible for a hardship license to have their license reinstated either at a hardship eligibility review hearing or after the 90-day hard time has passed. The person will not have their license reinstated until they are enrolled in a DUI school.
Making a Succesful Argument Against Implied Consent
It can be difficult to make a successful argument against implied consent. Law enforcement follows a script. They read the script and the person answers yes or no. However, arguing against implied consent could be successful when an officer speaks off-script, or if a client is coerced into giving a breath test when the police say the client refused but a videotape or other evidence shows otherwise.
The chances of making a successful argument against implied consent to the court varies. Arguing against implied consent to a jury, saying the client did not refuse, or was coerced, or misled, has a better chance of being argued to obtain a not guilty verdict depending upon the facts of the case.
Importance of an Attorney
The refusal of DUI testing in West Palm Beach is legal but, if you choose to refuse a drug or alcohol test, there are legal repercussions. An adept DUI attorney can defend you, and make sure that your rights are being protected. If you have been pulled over for a DUI and refused testing, call a lawyer who can work diligently to build your case.