If you are pulled over by an officer who suspects you to be driving under the influence the officer the officer will begin to make observations regarding:
- Your behavior and whether it is indicative of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Whether the odor of alcohol or other drugs is present on your person or in your vehicle and;
- Whether any drugs or alcoholic beverages are in plain view.
Following the officers initial observations the officer will ask you to step out of your car to perform a Field Sobriety Examination. Following the Field Sobriety Examination if the officer believes they have probable cause to place you under arrest for DUI they will do so. After you have been placed under arrest the officer will ask you to submit to a breathalyzer examination.
Breathalyzer Refusal and Implied Consent in Florida
If you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test, and have not refused to submit to a breathalyzer examination in the past, you will lose your drivers license for one year (this penalty is based on the implied consent law in the State of Florida: http://viacavacantor.com/dui-defense/implied-consent). If you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test and you have previously had your drivers license suspended for refusing to submit to a breathalyzer you will be facing an independent first degree misdemeanor charge for refusing to submit to the breathalyzer test. In 2002, the legislature in Florida adopted Florida Statute 316.1932 which makes it a first degree misdemeanor to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer when asked by an officer to take one if you have previously had your driving privileges suspended for refusing to comply with an officers request that you take a breathalyzer. First degree misdemeanors are punishable by a maximum of one year in jail.
Intoxilyzer 8000 Flaws
If you agree to submit to a breathalyzer you will be asked to blow into the breathalyzer machine – the Intoxilyzer 8000. In Fort Myers, Naples, Cape Coral, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and indeed the entire State of Florida the Intoxilyzer 8000 is the only type of breathalyzer machine utilized by Law Enforcement Officers. The Intoxilyzer 8000 has been shown to have many flaws and its continued use has been challenged by various parties in many States where it is the de facto breathalyzer machine of choice for Police Officers. The Fort Myers and Sarasota based Criminal Defense Lawyers at Viacava & Cantor have been trained in the features and attributes of the Intoxilyzer 8000. A Criminal Defense Lawyer who has received Intoxilyzer 8000 training will be able to approach the breathalyzer test differently and attack any and all available avenues as to the credibility of the machine.
If you have been charged with a DUI it is highly likely that either a breath test or a refusal to take a breath test was involved in your arrest. If you have been arrested for DUI in Fort Myers, Naples, Cape Coral, Port Charlotte or Punta Gorda contact a lawyer from Viacava & Cantor for a free consultation at 239-672-8934 (Fort Myers) or 941-388-7810 (Sarasota) to discuss the specific facts of your case.