The decision to take a Daytona Beach breath test or refuse is complex. A refusal can prevent the state from obtaining evidence but typically motivates the prosecutors more and carries harsher driver's license consequences. What is best depends on the facts of the case and is unique to the individual. A Daytona Beach DUI refusal case or Daytona Beach breath test case is actually to cases. If a lawful request of your breath, blood or urine is refused or if a blood or breath alcohol test over .08% is obtained in addition to the criminal case you will be facing an administrative suspension of your driver’s license. The administrative process can suspend your license 10 days after your Daytona Beach DUI arrest if action is not taken. The administrative case cannot put you in jail or on probation. It only deals with your privilege to drive. Obviously if your license is suspended and you get caught driving probation and jail are possible. The Daytona Beach Public Defenders Office by statute cannot defend you in the administrative hearing. If action is not taken and an attorney is not retained your license will be suspended before you go to your first Daytona Beach court date. Some factors like your exact BAC cannot be determined. An educated guess is the best you can do. It also makes a difference which county you are in. Some counties have diversions others prosecute anything over .08%. I will detail Daytona Beach and Volusia County below. In many situations taking a breath test may get you back on the road faster.
Why You Should Not Take A Daytona Beach Breath Test
If you have had a prior DUI or DUI reduced to reckless it is unlikely that you will be able to get your case reduced to a reckless without a legal defense. A second refusal is a crime in itself and is almost never a good option. When a refusal is beneficial is if you are very intoxicated or not likely to be eligible for a reduction. Refusing takes good and bad cases to the middle. If you are perfectly sober and refuse the state has a shot at convicting you. If the video shows some indicators of impairment or lack of coordination the state’s chances improve. If you are two or three times the legal limit and refuse the breath test and optional field sobriety exercises the state might have trouble proving impairment. Many jurors believe the only reason to refuse is guilt but they also like to see something to verify their belief that you are guilty. In high BAC cases not having a number to attach is beneficial. In many first DUI cases the benefit of hiding your number might be outweighed by the increased administrative suspension.
Arguments For Taking A Daytona Beach Breath Test
If your primary concern is being able to drive submitting to a breath test might be a good idea. The first reason that you might want to consider taking a Daytona Beach breath test is the potential administrative consequences. If you set the Daytona Beach record for highest breath test you will still be able to obtain a hardship license after 30 days without driving (after 10 day permit and if requested 42 day permit expires) on a first DUI. If you are later convicted of DUI your hardship will be revoked and can be reinstated the same day as long as proper steps are taken. If you refuse a lawful test of your blood, breath or urine and do not prevail in the administrative hearing you will be unable to get a hardship for 90 days. The Daytona Beach prosecutors are authorized to reduce first DUI cases to reckless driving with a blood alcohol level below .13% as long as no aggravating circumstances are present. This is not a documented policy but as a former Daytona Beach DUI prosecutor it was a policy that was present although never placed in writing. So what if you’re over a .13%? Generally .13% to .149% has a fair shot at a reckless reduction. The argument is that you did what the state wants so why should you be penalized just because you were a touch over .13%. As a former prosecutor it is difficult to punish someone for cooperating. The bottom line is if you are under .08% the breath test is clearly beneficial. If you are under .13% the result usually will not hurt you on a DUI because you would be eligible for an equitable reduction to reckless driving. For Daytona Beach area breath test results between .13% and .149% it still might not hurt you if your history is limited. For breath test results of .15% and above the breath test result will hurt you in the criminal case. It is unlikely that your case will be reduced to a reckless driving. You still have all of the illegal stop defenses available. If the case has issues with the stop or other extenuating circumstances.
The Law Offices of Kevin J. Pitts
747 S Ridgewood Ave., #105
Daytona Beach, FL 32114