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The consequences of refusing a breath test during a DUI stop

By now many of our readers in Florida probably know that one of the basic elements of a DUI traffic stop is for the investigating police officer to ask the suspect driver to submit to a breath test using a device commonly known as a breathalyzer. Such a request is just part of the DUI investigation, along with asking questions of the suspect and asking the suspect to take part in field sobriety tests. While most people understand that it is usually best to cooperate with law enforcement officials when legal and constitutionally valid requests are made, some may think that it is best to not cooperate in order to avoid incriminating themselves. Under Florida law, there are consequences for refusing a breath test during a DUI stop.

Our readers may not know that by the very act of getting a driver's license, the law states that individuals have given "implied consent" to submit to a breath test when asked. Thus, drivers have already agreed to give a breath test by way of getting their driver's licenses. So, when a driver refuses to submit to a breath test during a DUI stop, the driver will be warned by the investigating police officer about the consequences of doing so.

For starters, drivers will be warned that the refusal to submit to a breath test will result in a one-year suspension of the person's driver's license. That is a serious consequence indeed. For most people, their driving privileges are indispensable. Losing the right to drive can lead to many different complications in life.

Anyone who is facing drunk driving charges in Florida will want to know their rights. Dealing with the criminal justice process is one thing, but dealing with the administrative process involved with a suspended driver's license is another. Every defendant will want to get the right information about the options in their own unique case.

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