If a driver refuses to take a breathalyzer test, should they be criminally punished for it or should it be considered a violation of the individual’s constitutional rights if the officer doesn’t have the warrant to make such a request? The question is one that the Florida Supreme Court will soon have to address and it could result in significant changes or ramifications for Florida’s existing DUI laws.
Current Florida laws state that an individual operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway consents to a breath test by a law enforcement officer by choosing to operate the vehicle, should the officer believe the driver is under the influence. Drivers can find this same law stated right on the bottom of their Florida driver’s license. However the 4th Amendment states the consent to search may be withdrawn at any moment if there is no warrant, and this includes automobiles.
The current case that will be evaluated by the Florida Supreme Court is based on the 4th Amendment argument. The driver in the case was pulled over for a DUI and he refused to provide the law enforcement officers with a breath sample. The driver states that although he did consent to a breath test by driving on the Florida roadways and having a state driver’s license, he withdrew the consent after being pulled over.
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