Breath Tests

Tampa Breath Test Attorneys

Our DUI Lawyers Are Ready to Dispute Breath Test Evidence

An individual arrested for DUI in Tampa, Florida will be asked to submit to a chemical test, often a breath test, to determine their blood alcohol level (BAL). 

Also referred to as a breathalyzer test, the breath test is administered using a device called the Intoxilyzer 8000. This machine measures the concentration of alcohol deep within the driver's lungs and uses a formula to determine the amount of alcohol in the driver's blood. However, there is no way to determine with complete accuracy the driver's BAC by taking a breath sample. The possibility of skewed test results is increased even further in the presence of an improperly administered test. If you took a breath test after an arrest and had a result of 0.08 percent or greater, this does not mean that you should or will be convicted of DUI.

By involving our Tampa DUI lawyers, you'll have a powerful ally to fight for your future. We have over 40 years of aggregate experience and have successfully handled 7,000+ criminal cases. Our results speak for themselves.

Challenging a Florida DUI Breath Test

To build a defense against breath test results, a lawyer must examine multiple aspects of your case, including whether the test was administered correctly, if it was administered by a trained professional, and whether the device was calibrated in accordance with state regulations and standards. 

The following issues can also affect breath tests:

  • The test was administered by an individual who was not trained in breath test administration.
  • The device was not properly maintained or regularly calibrated by state standards.
  • A physical condition unrelated to alcohol consumption led to a falsely high result.
  • The defendant vomited, belched, ate, drank, or smoked 20 minutes or less before the test. 
  • The officer did not have probable cause to conduct the test.
  • The driver was not arrested for DUI prior to the test.
  • The driver was informed of Florida’s Implied Consent Law but did not understand.
  • Multiple tests contradict each other with differing readings.
  • The driver requested legal counsel before taking the breath test.
  • The driver requested a different type of test.

If you have been charged with DUI, there is still hope. We’ve handled thousands of cases; (813) 321-7323 for your free consultation!

Challenging Breath Tests

Even a breath test that showed a result of .08 or greater does not guarantee an open-and-shut DUI case. When you put Thomas & Paulk on your side, you have the benefit of a team that knows how to challenge breathalyzer tests and other key DUI evidence.

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Tampa, FL Breathalyzer Information

What Happens Before a Breath Test?

Before administering a breath test, the officer must determine that the driver fits the required criteria and is a good candidate for accurate results. They must also observe the subject for 20 minutes before conducting a breath test. They are responsible for ensuring sure the device is calibrated correctly and the test is conducted accurately. If the officer failed, your Tampa DUI attorney may be able to argue to remove the results as evidence. 

Florida law requires officers to observe DUI suspects for 20 minutes before administering a breath test. This helps ensure the person does not do anything that could affect test results, like eat, drink, or even belch. 

Roadside Breath Tests & Implied Consent

A common question associated with driving under the influence is whether a driver must submit to a roadside breath test. The answer may vary depending on the specific circumstances. If a driver is pulled over on suspicion of DUI, they may face administrative license suspension for refusing a roadside breath test. As every case is different, getting detailed information that applies to your unique situation is important. An attorney can provide you with the insight you need to make informed decisions about your case.

Refusal of a Breath Test in Florida

According to Florida law, chemical or physical tests must be done following a lawful arrest. Should you refuse to submit, you will face automatic penalties, including license suspension. Per Florida Statutes §316.1939, if you have been lawfully arrested for DUI and were informed that refusal to submit to such a test would result in license suspension, you might face misdemeanor charges. For a first-time refusal, license suspension will last for one year. If you refuse the test and have done so before, you will be face an 18-month suspension. The refusal to submit to a breath test is also admissible in future criminal proceedings.

Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS)

Roadside breath tests may be administered before a Tampa DUI arrest.

Often referred to as a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS), they are typically administered using a portable device in the field instead of a formal test conducted at the police station after a driver is taken into custody. Refusing a portable test is not without risk. If a person refuses, they face license suspension unless their lawyer can show that their DUI arrest was not warranted. Additionally, refusing a breath test may create suspicion that the person accused of DUI was trying to hide their level of intoxication.

Learn more about DUI breath tests and your rights: (813) 321-7323.

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