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Chemical Testing in DUI Cases in Florida

If you were arrested for a DUI in Florida, then the arresting officer probably asked you to submit to a chemical test. The most common request is for a breath test, but under certain limited circumstances, the arresting officer can ask you to submit to a urine or a blood test.

Click here to read more about our Recent Case Results in DUI Cases.

The chemical test are used to determine a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) or the presence of any chemical or controlled substance.

Call an attorney at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss your case in Tampa or Plant City, Hillsborough County, FL, or a surrounding area throughout Tampa Bay. We are experienced in fighting these driving under the influence cases to exclude or suppress the result of chemical test. Call 813-250-0500.

Refusal to Submit to Chemical Testing

If the driver refuses to submit to a breath test after being placed under lawful arrest for DUI, then the arresting officer will read the implied consent warning. If the driver continues to refuse, then the driver can be charged with a refusal.

The refusal comes with certain administrative and criminal consequences. At trial, the prosecutor will argue that the fact that you refused to submit to a chemical test indicates that you knew you were guilty ("consciousness of guilt"). Read more about the refusal to sumbit to chemical testing.

Breath Testing

After an arrest in Hillsborough County, the driver is driven to the Central Breath Testing Unit of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at the Orient Road Jail. HCSO maintains several breathalyzers. The breathalyzers used in Florida are known as the Intoxilyzer 8000 which is assembled by a company in Kentucky called CMI, Inc.

Read our articles on the drunk driving breath test in Florida. Learn more about the Intoxilyzer 8000 and the FDLE's procedures for regulating these machines.

Urine Testing

If the arresting officer has reasonable cause to believe that the driver is under the influence of a chemical or controlled substance, then the arresting officer can request the driver submit to a urine test. If the officer also suspects impairment due to the consumption of alcoholic beverages, then the arresting officer might also request that the drive submit to a breath test.

Urine testing is the least reliable type of chemical test. It is often difficult to quantify the amount of a chemical or controlled substance or its metabolite in the urine. In many of these cases, the DUI defense attorney will move the court to exclude or suppress then results of the urine test.

Blood Testing

Under certain limited circumstances, the arresting officer can demand the most intrusive form of testing - the blood test. Although the blood test is generally considered the most accurate and reliable way of determining the presence of alcohol or controlled substances in the driver's system, it is also the most complicated and difficult to admit at trial.

The arresting officer will often ask for a blood test after the driver goes to the hospital and a breath or blood test is impossible or impractical. Under Florida Statute Section 316.1933, if the officer has probable cause that a DUI with serious bodily injury or death occurred, then the officer can get a warrant to draw blood even before an arrest occurs.

A blood test can also occur if the defendant submits to a breath test and then demands an independent test. If a request for a blood test occurs after the breath test, then the officer must make reasonable attempts to accommodate that request or the results of the original test can be suppressed. 

Chemical Testing after a DUI Arrest in Tampa, FL

If you were arrested for drunk or impaired driving and have questions about chemical testing, then contact an experienced DUI attorney at the Sammis Law Firm. We are experienced in fighting to suppress or exclude the breath test, blood test or urine test.

Call 813-250-0500 today. We can begin your defense today.

This article was last updated by Leslie M. Sammis on Friday, August 26, 2016.