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Florida Supreme Court to Evaluate Constitutionality of Breath Test Arrests

The Florida State Supreme Court is preparing to hear arguments about the state law which allows citizens to be prosecuted if they refuse a breathalyzer. Currently, Florida law allows police officers to arrest suspected drunk drivers if they refuse to take a breath test.

Williams Refused Breathalyzer in 2013

Starting in early September, arguments will be heard surrounding the 2013 case of William Williams. Williams was pulled over under suspicion of driving while intoxicated and would not take a breath test when an officer requested.

Fourth Amendment Rights Called into Question

Williams's defense attorneys will continue to argue in Volusia County and the Fifth Court of Appeals, that prosecuting people for refusing a breathalyzer constitutes a violation of the Fourth Amendment: the right to be protected from unreasonable search and seizure.

The officer who arrested Williams for not taking the breath test did not have a warrant. In cases such as this, law enforcement is often operating under an assumption of probable cause; a subjective measure that has been challenged in other search and seizure cases.

Case Outcome Draws Public Attention

The upcoming case will be watched closely both within the state of Florida and outside of it. Amicus briefs are being filed by such organizations as the Florida Police Chiefs Association, the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, and the National College for DUI Defense.

Any accusations of crime, including impaired driving, are serious matters. A criminal defense attorney will represent your rights in a court of law.

Sources:

"State Supreme Court To Hear Arguments Over Breath Tests." CBS Miami. N.p., 1 June 2016. Web. 22 June 2016.

"Florida Supreme Court Sets Arguments on DUI Breath Tests." Sarasota News. N.p., 31 May 2016. Web. 22 June 2016.

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