Tampa, FL asked in DUI / DWI for Florida

Q: Is it true that the cops have to observe you for a certain period of time before making you take a breathalyzer test?

I got a DUI after being pulled over and they gave me the test right away.

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2 Lawyer Answers

Jonathan Blecher

  • DUI & DWI Lawyer
  • Miami, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Police are required to observe you for 20 minutes and make "reasonably certain" that you didn't belch, burp or regurgitate prior to the breath test.

Giving you the test "right away" implies that they had a mobile breath testing device. You might have a good argument to get the breath test results suppressed.

Thomas Hudson

  • DUI & DWI Lawyer
  • Sarasota, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Florida requires a 20 minute observation period, to insure that there is no residual alcohol in your mouth which could artificially inflate your apparent blood alcohol. Many agencies give hand-held breath testers to their officers. These do not have the ability to distinguish between breath alcohol and mouth alcohol. These machines are often used to test whether underage drivers are in violation of Florida's "kiddie DUI" law. The results of these tests are not admissible in court.

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