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Breath test refusal could lead to criminal charges in Florida

When drivers are pulled over and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, they may feel incredibly overwhelmed and be unsure of their rights. To make things even more complicated, laws related to drunk driving change from time to time. In Fort Myers, and across Florida, drunk driving charges can make life very difficult for those facing allegations, leading to job loss, the suspension of a driver's license, prison time and costly fines, among other consequences.

After a recent Supreme Court ruling, drivers could be charged with a crime if they refuse to take a breath test in the state of Florida. In Florida, along with 11 other states, law enforcement officials could charge drivers with a criminal offense if they refuse to take a BAC breath test. In fact, refusal may lead to time behind bars in certain states.

Around the country, breath test laws vary from one state to another. In some states, refusing to take a breath test may only result in fines or license suspension. The Supreme Court also ruled that states cannot require drivers to take blood tests.

To make matters worse, drunk driving offenses can haunt people for the rest of their life. For example, an employer may turn down a job applicant because of something that happened many years ago. As a result, people who are facing any charges related to drunk driving, from refusing to take a breath test to underage DUI, should carefully review their options. For some, contacting a knowledgeable legal professional could be very helpful.

Source: Miami Herald, "You can be charged with a crime for refusing a drunk driving breath test, court rules," Kate Irby, June 23, 2016

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