When a police officer suspects that an individual is driving while intoxicated, they will pull the vehicle over. Quite often, the officer will request the driver to take a breathalyzer test to determine if the driver truly is impaired.
In Florida, the implied consent law requires individuals to take the blood or breathalyzer test whenever requested so long as an arresting officer has probable cause for issuing the test. Individuals who refuse to do so will face a mandatory license suspension. At this point, it becomes extremely difficult for a driver to dispute the fact that they were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in court.
Quite often, individuals wonder if they are able to be charged for DUI in Florida without a blood test or a breathalyzer test. In short, yes it is possible. By cooperating with law enforcement during the stop, it is possible for an experienced DUI attorney to help you have your charges lessened or dismissed by presenting an adequate argument in your defense.
It is important to note that a breathalyzer is not the only test authorities use to determine if a driver is intoxicated. Blood test and field sobriety tests are often conducted to determine if a driver is intoxicated and, in some instances, to what extent.
Can A Florida Driver Be Convicted Of DUI Without A Breathalyzer Test?
Drivers are able to be convicted of DUI without a breathalyzer simply because authorities have an array of ways to determine whether or not a driver is intoxicated at the time of the arrest. If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test while you are pulled over, the officer will likely have you perform various field sobriety tests and investigate your vehicle to determine if there is addiction evidence of you driving under the influence.
It is imperative to note that refusing to take a breathalyzer test at the time you are pulled over will result in an automatic license suspension for up to one year. Additionally, your refusal to cooperate with the arresting officer can be used against you in court to demonstrate you were consciously guilty. This can result in a DUI conviction as well as a conviction for refusal.
Instead, it is crucial to cooperate with law enforcement and go through the arresting process to better position you for court. By fully cooperating at the time of arrest, your lawyer may be able to argue for a reduction or dismissal in court.
How A DUI Arrest Without A Breathalyzer Can Be Made
Aside from refusing to take a breathalyzer test, there are many ways in which a person can be charged with this offense.
In some cases, the equipment to provide a breathalyzer screening is not working or not available. Testing equipment can malfunction at any time, leaving an arresting officer without the tools necessary to conduct the screening. If the officer has enough probable cause, they can still charge a person with an offense regardless of whether they took the test or not.
In some cases, bodily fluids may not be available at the time of the hearing. There are instances where judges rule evidence as inadmissible due to the suspect’s lawyer having a convincing argument. Cases are still able to proceed without test results or evidence. In some cases, juries still find the defendant guilty of the DUI offense. Typically, these convictions are based on the offenders conduct at the time of the arrest as well as their demeanor in court.
Field sobriety tests are another effective way to prove a suspect is intoxicated when a breathalyzer test is not available. The results from the field sobriety test as well as other evidence, including video recordings of the defendant’s performance, are often used to persuade a conviction in court. These tests often include having the driver walk in a straight line following instructions, standing on one leg, following objects with their eyes, and so on. In the absence of a video, the officer’s sworn testimony in the courtroom can be used to convict an offender.
In most cases, the officer’s testimony is used to demonstrate to the jury how the defendant was acting at the time of the arrest. The officer will provide sworn statements regarding how to offender was acting and what they observed. They are able to provide whether they could smell any odors of alcohol or substances, noticed any watery or bloodshot eyes, or even if the defendant was slurring their speech. In some cases, officers testify to seeing open beer cans or empty liquor bottles in the vehicles at the time of the arrest. Videos from patrol cars can also be used to show the offender driving or swerving along the roadways.
A Florida DUI Attorney Can Help You
Chemical tests are often very convincing to a jury. However, it is important to note that these tests are not always available for every case. Even without chemical tests, prosecutors are able to proceed with prosecuting an offender for DUI because of testimony and field sobriety test results. Whether or not this evidence is sufficient enough to prove an offender guilty beyond a reasonable doubt is up to the jury.
In cases where you are arrested for driving under the influence without a breathalyzer or a blood test, it is imperative to hire an experienced DUI defense attorney to represent you. An experienced attorney will be able to present a legal argument in court to have your charges dismissed on reduced.
Our team of skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys at Musca Law has over 150-years of combined experience representing individuals throughout Florida who have been charged with DUI offenses. Our attorneys work aggressively to represent those charged with DUI offenses to have the charges dismissed or reduced in court.
If you were arrested for a DUI offense in Florida, contact our law firm at (888) 484-5057 to schedule a free case evaluation to explore what legal options are available for you.