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DUI/DWI: Know before you Blow!

Let's face it, the law surrounding DUI/DWI is complex and not very fun to think about. While it may be difficult to plan on how to handle it, keeping in mind a few legal rights may help you if you are ever being investigated for DUI.

In today's world we are constantly warned that we must do what the police ask and we have no choice. This blog cannot give you direct legal advice, but what I am about to tell you may shock some of you. WE ARE NOT IN CHINA! Yep, you heard it here first. We actually have a constitution with teeth. Although it may be beneficial at times to cooperate with the police, each individual case will have it's own nuances to deal with.

We have addressed some of these situations in our FAQ section on our DUI website. But the focus of this blog will be how to deal with the decision to take the breathalyzer, a decision that will carry very heavy consequences. For some, it will mean the difference between conviction or a reduced charge. For others it could very well mean the difference between jail or probation.

So, do you have to take the breath test? The abridged answer to that is "no". In Florida for example, citizens have the option to refuse the breath test. This will carry with it consequences though. For some, it will mean the license will be suspended for a slightly longer period of time than those who take the breath test and blow over the legal limit. For those who have refused in the past, some states have statutes on the books that allow the prosecutor to file an additional criminal charge for refusing (criminal refusal). If you do refuse the breath test, your attorney can challenge that suspension in DMV court with the hopes of fully reinstating your license.

If you do refuse, your license suspension can be eased a bit by receiving a hardship license. You should also be aware of the many problems with these breath test machines. They are not infallible and we'll be taking a closer look at these problems in an upcoming blog.

If you have any questions about this important topic, our lawyers here at Stone Lockett can help. We are here 24 hours a day. But be prepared and "know before you blow"!

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