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FlutherAlot's avatar

Should I refuse the Breathalyzer?

Asked by FlutherAlot (145points) March 13th, 2010

Just incase I ever get pulled over for DUI, I would like to know what to do.

My state is Florida. This is an implied consent state. If I refuse the test I get a mandatory minimum 1 year suspension (challangable and I can get a work permit of course). The state can also use my refusal as “evidence” of guilt. If I blow .08+ I get a minimum 6 month suspension (challangable), but I give the state more hard evidence to use against me.

My question is what to do in the event of being suspected of DUI (which hypothetically I will be over .08)?

1) Flat out refuse the FST + Breathalyzer
2) Take the Breathalyzer but refuse FST
3) Do both
4) State that I will comply with the investigation but I must speak with an attorney first.

Will choosing option 4 work? After all I did not refuse the test, and the cops can not deny me my attorney. Assuming it is 2 AM I may get arrested, but by the time I get to speak to an attorney I will have sobered up.

Also what is the chances of beating the DUI if I refuse? Is it better or worse off?

I would like cops+lawyers opinions (john65pennington). Also anyone in Florida who has been convicted of DUI

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27 Answers

Silhouette's avatar

If you refuse they will get a court order and draw blood. This will take a little time so if you think you’ll sober up before they draw blood refusing to submit to the testing would be your best bet.

FlutherAlot's avatar

I don’t think Florida can force a blood draw. How can you get a court order at 2 AM anyway lol

bob_'s avatar

You shouldn’t drink and drive.

plethora's avatar

Interestingly, in Germany you don’t have a choice. You don’t wanna take it, they put you on the ground at gunpoint and then you take it.

bob_'s avatar

@plethora Ze Germans, zey don’t fuck around.

jaytkay's avatar

Driving sober is easier than finessing drunk driving laws. A lot easier.

Jail food is not tasty.

gailcalled's avatar

If you’re going to refuse it, note that it is Breathalyzer. Why would you even contemplate DUI?

mrrich724's avatar

refuse it if you think you are going to fail, because even if you get a one year suspension, it’s better than getting a DUI on your record, court costs relating to the DUI, and a suspension for a DUI.

and there are people i (and many others) love who we can no longer talk to because people decided to drive drunk, so . . . if you just don’t drink and drive you won’t have to ponder this question.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Where does “If I drive intoxicated, I could kill someone” factor into this decision process?

lillycoyote's avatar

I don’t know what the answer is, but I suggest that when you do decide, that you write it down, in big, block letters on a post-it and stick it on the dashboard of your car so that when you do get pulled over and you’re drunk, you will remember what you chose as your best option, when you were sober and rational, and capable of making sound judgments. Like “TAKE BREATHALYSER, REFUSE FST!”

mrrich724's avatar


you’re right. sorry. i redact that portion of the comment.

But the first part is a great answer, having lived as a college student, in a college town, in Florida . . . DON’T BLOW. DON’T DO THE BREATHALIZER.

If you have to wonder if you will pass or not, there’s probably a good chance you won’t.

Buttonstc's avatar

Isn’t it a whole lot easier to just have a designated driver with you or take a cab.

If you’re driving with enough booze in your system to put you in danger of a DUI, I have shocking news for you.

What to do in the event of a Breathalyzer test is certainly not your biggest problem.

The fact that you could possibly kill others or even yourself should be of far greater concern.

Young people have a tendency to think they are immortal and death can’t touch them and the dire consequences of bad judgement will happen to someone else.

Just ask yourself this simple question. “if my impaired driving causes someone else’s death, can I comfortably live with the guilt of that for the rest of my life ?

If you’re an emotionally normal human being, it will change your life forever even if you get minimal jail time because it was an accident.

You will never escape the knowledge that it was an accident which you could have been easily prevented. You’ll never be able to take back that one foolish decision to drive after drinking.

I know it’s tempting to think it couldn’t happen to you, but it does happen every single hour of every single day.

Doing a little research on those statistics will do you a whole lot more good than focusing on how to beat a DUI charge.

FlutherAlot's avatar

Since I am under 21, a .02 is considered intoxicated for me, so good point.

I do not drink and drive. I know my limits, but assuming I have had 1 beer an hour ago (and will blow over .02), I would like to know my options JUST IN CASE. I try to use a DD, but I would like to know this info

PandoraBoxx's avatar

If you refuse to blow, they take you to jail.

If you pull over on the side of the road because you decide you are too drunk to drive, and you turn of the engine, but have the keys in the car, they take you to jail.
If you are drunk, and walking, they take you to jail because you can walk into the path of an oncoming car.

The police don’t fuck around with drinking and driving. Nor do we want them to.

The best way to handle drinking, especially underage drinking, is to drink at home, or some place where you can stay put. If you can’t handle calling your parents or a friend to come pick you up, then you’re really not emotionally ready to drink, and shouldn’t be doing it.

If you have your license suspended for a DUI and you live at home, your parents will lose their car insurance, because there is the possibility of you taking one of their other cars and driving. They could risk it, but for 5 years, if anyone in the household has an accident, or buys a new car, the insurance company will drop all coverage.

FlutherAlot's avatar


I know I go to jail. At this point I am concerend with MITIGATING legal damages. Going to jail does NOT mean a conviction. My goal is to maximize the possibilities my lawyer can get the case dismissed or atleast reduced.

Please do not post the moral implications of drinking and driving. I know them. I know I can kill someone. That is not the point of this question. This question is about how to mitigate legal damage. That is all.

PandoraBoxx's avatar


IMPLIED CONSENT LAW – OR REALLY COERCION TO INCRIMINATE YOURSELF. This concept was adopted by the Florida Legislature. It means that if a person elects to drive a vehicle on the state’s roadways (or even a pedal bike), then the person also implicitly agrees to submit to giving an evidence sample for alcohol. And if you don’t, you lose your privilege of driving on Florida roads. It is very difficult to prove you guilty of DUI unless you give them all the evidence they need to convict you. Thus, without implied consent, people would have no incentive to incriminate themselves and the police would rarely get any convictions. Hence, they made this rule so that they can more easily convict you. Therefore, implied consent is basically a means to coerce you into incriminating yourself without the benefit of counsel.

talljasperman's avatar

I wonder if you can get a disease from using a dirty breathalyzer?

plethora's avatar

@_bob LOL….no zey don’t. Also they don’t have nearly the drunk driving issues that we have. Also they don’t have out of control crowds, even at a beerfest, because the cops are present, and they will drag one’s ass right off if a punch is thrown. And, to my knowledge, they don’t nearly the weight in court to smarmy unprofessional videos. Hey, I’ve never lived there, but my son has and these are the stories he tells me.

Glad I was driving in Alabama when I got two tickets in seven days. But I wasn’t drinking. I kind of like Richard Pryor’s reason for sobering up. Said he just got sick of waking up doing 90 on the freeway.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

It doesn’t matter what we say. You’ll be too drunk to recall any of it, anyway.

FlutherAlot's avatar


Ya, I read that online and thats why I posted here. I was wondering how much truth there was to that.

davidbetterman's avatar

Be sure not to blow real hard into the device.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

It is much easier, safer and smarter to arrange for alternate transportation whenever you are going out and will be drinking. If you can afford to drink, you can afford to take a taxi home.

You will get home safely and so will others in Florida who drive along your route.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@FlutherAlot, given that the site is a law firm that specializes in DUIs, I would say it’s true. It’s true in most states.

HungryGuy's avatar

Don’t drink and drive! You’re puttting other people’s lives in danger! That’s a scumbag thing to do! You deserve to lose your license!

Take a bus or taxi when you go out drinking. Or if you’re in a group, use a designated driver. Or party at someone’s house and let whoever’s drunk sleep over.

Paxan8's avatar

I was convicted of a DUI about 13 yrs ago. 1st I want to say that at the time I got pulled over I was on my way to work and it was the next day, I got pulled over for speeding. I hadn’t had a drink in 7 hours and had slept and I did not realize I would still be “legally” drunk so I did so the responsible thing and stayed at a friend’s house. The only reason the cop smelled alcohol was because I was wearing the same clothes and hadn’t had time to shower yet (as I was on my way home to shower and change for work.) Anyhoo…I blew a .11 (back then .10 was considered the limit). I got a lawyer which did nothing for me as I was still convicted and it just cost me another $2k for the lawyer. He told me if this ever happened again to refuse the breathalyzer. A lawyer might have a chance to defend you without a breathalyzer…might… but unless the machine hasn’t been maintained and calibrated on schedule there is no defense against the breathalyzer. So that was the advice from my lawyer.

notdrunkjustnormal's avatar

OK folks: there cannot be that many of you who have NEVER driven after having two drinks. It’s amazing how many people are giving the Holy-er than thou approach to their response rather than answer the question.

mollysmithee's avatar

If you are in an implied consent state, you will not be allowed to consult with an attorney before taking the test. Here is an article on implied consent and breathalyzer refusal that may help:

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