9th Apr 2019
Recently, a news station in central Florida reported that 4 out of 10 drivers stopped for DUI refuse a breath test. This may make you consider whether it is best to submit or refuse to a breath test. A South Florida criminal defense attorney can explain the law regarding mandatory testing during DUI stops and the penalties for refusal. If you suspect that you might be stopped, it would also be helpful to consult with a South Florida criminal defense attorney to determine whether or not you should refuse.
Florida’s implied consent law requires that all drivers in the state who are stopped by a police officer who had reasonable cause to believe that a driver was intoxicated and who are lawfully arrested to submit to a breath, blood or urine test. By virtue of driving in the state, every driver is determined to have given consent to this type of testing.
If you refuse to take a breath test, you will face a mandatory license suspension. If you have a previous suspension due to refusal to take a breath test, this offense is considered misdemeanor. Second and third offenses result in an 18-month license suspension. Subsequent convictions can result in jail time and additional consequences.
Refusing to take a breath test is not illegal in all situations. For example, the implied consent law requires that law enforcement have reasonable cause to believe you are intoxicated to justify a stop. If the law enforcement officer did not have this reasonable cause, the stop is invalid, and you should not be punished for your refusal. Likewise, the law only applies if the arrest was lawful. If the arrest was not lawful, your refusal to submit to testing cannot be used against you.