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What happens when you refuse a breath test in florida?

As much as drunk driving checkpoints and other safety measures are intended to protect a community, they seem to evoke an equal amount of fear into Florida's drivers. More so, those who have only had a minimum amount of alcohol worry that a breathalyzer test could fall just slightly over the legal drinking limit, throwing them into a vicious cycle of paperwork, court fees and revoked licenses. Although these tests can take dangerous drivers off the road, they can also place many limitations on the state's residents.

Those who express frustration over tight drinking laws are not alone. Last June, ABC News reported that Florida was number one in the nation when it came to drivers refusing breathalyzer tests. Drawing from statistics provided by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, ABC goes on to share that almost 40 percent of drivers who are pulled over with suspicions of drunk driving refuse to take the breath test. Experts highlighted in the article stated that drunk driving was especially widespread in the Tampa Bay area. Lawmakers had proposed a bill in 2016 that would have strengthened penalties for refusing a breathalyzer test, but to no avail.

It may be a common problem, but what happens when one refuses to take a breath test? Findlaw is quick to note that doing so can come with serious repercussions, including license suspension and even time behind bars. In addition, officers may conduct a field sobriety test or there may be witnesses at the scene who can attest to the drunk driving incident. Florida, like most states, enforces a 12-month license suspension to drivers who refuse a breathalyzer test. There are other aspects of Florida's DUI laws to consider, and those facing potential penalties may want to refresh on the fine print.       


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