Memorial Day has passed, and summer has unofficially arrived. Like Memorial Day, July 4th is a holiday when police officers are on the hunt for drunk drivers on the road in Florida. It is important for drivers to know their rights and responsibilities when it comes to drinking alcohol and driving. Here are a few tips that will help you stay safe this 4th of July.
If an officer stops you, do not say much. Any apologies or admissions may be used against you later. Simply be polite in demeanor and let the officer know that you wish to talk with your attorney before you answer any questions.
Don’t Consent to a Search
You have rights under the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures. This means that an officer must:
-Have probable cause that a crime is being committed.
-Have a search warrant issued by a judge to legally force you to submit to a search of your person, vehicle or belongings.
Even if an officer asks to do a search in a persistent manner, know that you have a right to say no.
You May Refuse the Breathalyzer, But It Could Cost Your License
Breathalyzers have many, many factors that play into whether they are a reliable source of evidence in DUI cases. Some of the factors that may make a breathalyzer inaccurate or unusable as evidence include:
-Whether the driver has eaten or any food within the 20 minutes before the test
-Whether the driver has Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
-Improper calibration or maintenance of the breathalyzer equipment
-Administration of the test by an unqualified individual
-Improper testing setting or techniques
This list is not exhaustive but provides the common reasons that a good Florida DUI attorney may be able to get breathalyzer evidence thrown out.
The other important thing to remember about breathalyzers is that refusing the test could cost you your license. In Florida, if a motorist refuses to blow into a breathalyzer test, they may automatically lose their driver’s license for up to one year.