The Caldarone Law Group, P.A.

What happens if I refuse to submit to a sobriety test?

If you have ever been pulled over for suspected drunk driving in Florida, you know that it can be frightening. Many people feel overwhelmed when speaking with a police officer, and it's normal to have concerns about your future and how you can protect yourself in those moments and following. Whether you have been in this situation before or not, it is prudent to know how to protect yourself and your interests.

One of the main questions that many people have is regarding their rights or ability to refuse to submit to a sobriety test. All drivers should know their rights, as well as what to expect when they refuse to submit. Regardless of the details of your individual situation, if you are facing drunk driving charges or complications related to the refusal to submit, you have the right to seek defense help.

What types of tests determine sobriety?

There are various ways that law enforcement can test you in order to determine your level of impairment. Some of the most simple and common types of field sobriety tests include the following:

  • Walk-and-turn
  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus
  • One-leg stand

You are technically within your rights to refuse to submit to any of the above field sobriety tests. However, simply refusing to comply does not mean that you are out of trouble. In fact, a law enforcement officer can still arrest you as long as there is sufficient probable cause.

Refusing to submit to the breath test

At some point, an officer may ask you to submit to a breath test. Technically, you have the right to refuse. However, doing so could result in serious consequences. Implied consent laws require that every driver cooperate or risk his or her driving privileges, and you technically agreed to this if you hold a valid Florida driver's license. If you refuse, you could lose your license and have to deal with various other complications, such as increased insurance rates.

How can you protect yourself?

Whether you lost your license because you refused to submit or you are facing drunk driving charges, you do not have to face it alone. You have the right to fight back, building a defense that suits your needs and objectives.

With help, it is possible to effectively confront drunk driving charges. You may challenge the grounds for the original traffic stop, challenge any evidence brought against you or present evidence that supports your defense. You would be wise to take quick action to learn about your rights and options as soon as possible after a DUI traffic stop or arrest.

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