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Questions About Hardship Licenses And Ignition Interlock Devices

If Someone Were To Refuse The Breath Or Blood Tests, How Would That Affect Their License Or The Possibility Of The Hardship Or Work License?

The government hates refusals; period. The politicians in Tallahassee have made it that if someone has refused a breath alcohol concentration test (BAC) by blood, breath or urine one time and then they refused a second time, the second time it becomes a criminal offense. You may win the DUI but lose the other case. A refusal may win the DUI case but prevent a hardship license. However, there is a common defense to this problem that isn’t written about very often: the confusion doctrine.

It’s tough for a person sitting there in the Intoxilyzer room to make an informed decision about whether to blow into a breathalyzer or not. This often gives rise to the confusion doctrine. Most people really don’t understand the reading of the rights. All of the time people will tell me that law enforcement “did not read me my rights.” If someone is in the Intoxilyzer room and asked to give a breath test, quite often people will say, “I’d like to speak to an attorney first” because they are exposed to media. They want their rights read and they want an attorney present.

Well, the law has been rigged in such a manner where you do not have a right to an attorney when being requested to give a breath test. But this is precisely where a lot of licenses get returned and the State’s case may even be damaged: the officer fails to properly clear up the confusion.

People need to understand that when it comes to every aspect of DUI litigation, the laws are the way they are due to politics. DUI is a very political crime. At the same time, DUI is more technical than most murder cases I’ve handled. Defenses are specific to fact patterns and that is hard to get across to people in a culture where we bail on an app or a webpage if it takes more than two seconds to load. It’s sad to hear the strained voices of family members begging for help after their loved one made a bad situation worse with self-representation.


Who Is Required To Have The Ignition Interlock Device Installed?

This is something that really shocks people. When they go to the internet and read the reasons someone can get an Intoxilyzer put on their vehicle, what they don’t understand is the judge can do it without being required to do so.

Most of what is put online is the minimum and maximum sentences. People leave the Internet thinking “Oh, that’s so horrible. I couldn’t bear that.” They go through this whole process in their mind where they focus on how horrible the minimum is without realizing that even if their blood alcohol level is below a 0.15, just as the judge can surprise them with jail time, the judge can also order an Ignition Interlock on their vehicle. This is a milder form of courthouse surprise, but it’s an extremely unpleasant shock when it happens.

Generally speaking, if someone has a blood alcohol level above a 0.15, they are at risk of having an Intoxilyzer put on their vehicle and paying for it. They are fairly expensive and the price varies from county to county all across the state. Here is another key distinction:

Let’s say you have a DUI with two blows showing a blood alcohol level of a 0.189. During the process of the case, I uncover some partial defenses that don’t kill the case but they damage it. At this point, the prosecutor may be willing to reduce the charge instead of substituting the charge.

The client would be better off with a reckless driving charge, but let’s say that the state agrees only to reduce it to a DUI below a 0.15, then on the surface, a person might look at that and go, “All right. I don’t have to have the Intoxalock put on my vehicle.” However, the court may not require it because this charge was reduced, but the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will require it as a condition of the driver’s license.

If you need answers to Questions About Hardship Licenses And Ignition Interlock Devices In Florida After Facing A DUI Charge, call the criminal defense office of Stephen G. Cobb for a FREE Initial Consultation at and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.



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