October 24, 2018
Like most states, drivers in Florida accept that they are subject to implied consent statutes when they operate a motor vehicle. This means if police stop you for suspicion of operating under the influence, you are obligated to take field sobriety tests—one of which is a Breathalyzer test. What is not always clear is what options you have should you fail the test and face DUI charges. Many drivers believe if they fail a Breathalyzer, they are better off pleading guilty and not contacting an attorney. This is a mistake.
Breathalyzer Tests Have an Unreliable History
In Florida, law enforcement officers use the Intoxilyzer 8000 for measuring blood alcohol content (BAC). Since 2012, due to the number of incorrect readings, judges have shown their unwillingness to use Breathalyzer results as the only means of proving a driver was under the influence.
The errors include:
- Operator error – The person administering the test must receive proper training. If they allow their training to lapse, the court may throw out the results of a breath test.
- Time delays – Law enforcement officers avoid conducting these tests in the field. They may take you to a local police station to administer a Breathalyzer. This delay could result in inaccurate test results.
- Chemical interference – People who work with certain chemicals, including acetone, may produce a false result. Certain medications, including cough syrup, may also produce false positive results.
Your Driving Rights Are at Risk
Keep in mind that you can lose your right to operate a motor vehicle after a DUI conviction. In addition, the court could impose fines, require you to take a DUI educational course, and assess points against your driving record. The last thing you want to accept is a DUI conviction when you were tested with a faulty piece of equipment.
Why You Should Fight Back
A skilled DUI attorney not only can advise you of your rights, but can also challenge the results of a Breathalyzer test.
In some instances, the law enforcement officer who stopped you may not have followed proper procedure. For example, if you were driving home from work and were following all roadway rules, police cannot stop you randomly without a legal reason. Erratic driving, broken tail lights, and expired license plates are all valid reasons for a stop. Absent a valid reason for stopping you, the court may dismiss your charges.
Are You Facing a DUI Charge in Florida? Call the Khonsari Law Group Today
The best way to determine whether you should fight a DUI charge is to speak with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. Contact an attorney immediately after your arrest, and if possible, before taking a Breathalyzer test.
Even if you failed a Breathalyzer test, contact a DUI lawyer at Khonsari Law Group online or call (727) 269-5300 immediately to schedule a consultation. Our goal is to protect your rights, including fighting Breathalyzer results when you are facing a DUI charge.