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The reality of refusing a breathalyzer test in florida

Sometimes, just one short drive home can become the start of a long, drawn out process of legal fees and court dates. Like most states, Florida strictly enforces its breathalyzer laws, but not every driver who rolls down their window to a test is guilty of driving while under the influence. Just a small drink or two can result in months, and even years, of repercussions. With these potentially crucial penalties, what are drivers' rights in the case they are presented with a breathalyzer test in the state?

In the wake of the horrific Parkland shooting earlier this month, Business Insider takes a look at the ways the state has grappled to reduce preventable death. Taking an interesting turn, Insider examines traffic safety and substance abuse, pointing out that they claim countless lives each year. Some states have taken steps toward making breathalyzer tests even more effective, such as South Dakota's "the great promise of 24/7 sober," a policy that holds DUI offenders accountable with twice daily breathalyzer tests -- if drivers blow above a 0.0, they could land in jail for one night. Business Insider lauds these recent preventative methods, claiming that they not only help reduce drunk driving, but can also cut domestic violence and reduce deaths. 

While some states are turning to alternative methods to keep roads clear of drunk drivers, The Florida Legislature holds strict laws on tests for alcohol and other substances. All drivers in the state may be subject to an approved chemical test or physical test, which can include an infrared light test of his or her breath. However, the test must be incidental to a lawful arrest, or a result of an officer's reasonable doubt that the driver is operating the vehicle while sober. Should a driver fail to submit a test, they could face a license suspension for a period of one year if it is the first refusal, and 18 months if it is the second refusal.      





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