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Know your rights when a South Florida police officer suspects DUI

After having a couple of drinks, you may have gotten behind the wheel of your car. You may not have thought that you were actually impaired, but you may have begun to question yourself when you noticed that a police officer here in South Florida turned on his or her patrol car's flashing lights indicating that you should stop. Knowing ahead of time what your rights and responsibilities are when it comes to submitting to a breath test may come in handy.

When you got your Florida driver's license, you agreed to submit to a breath test when asked to do so by a police officer who suspects you of driving under the influence. Under the law, if you refuse a lawful request, it results in a suspension of your driver's license for a year. If you refused a second time, you not only face a suspension of your license for 18 months, but also a criminal charge that, upon conviction, could cause you to spend a year in jail.

As you can see, refusing to submit to a breath test comes with some serious penalties. However, there are times when taking the test could result in even harsher consequences. If your blood alcohol concentration is at or above the state's legal limit of .08, you face a suspension of your driver's license, fines and possibly even jail time, among other potential penalties, even for a first offense.

You may have only a matter of minutes to make your choice when faced with the decision regarding whether to comply with the request of a police officer here in South Florida to submit to a breath test. No matter what choice you make, you may end up under arrest for DUI. Regardless, you may benefit from discussing your situation with an attorney as soon as possible thereafter.

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