Once you have received your driver’s license and signed your name, you have agreed to abide by Florida’s Implied Consent Law. This law provides that, as part of using your privilege to drive, you consent to a blood, breath, or urine test to indicate your blood alcohol content or drug content at the time you were driving. If an accused driver refuses to take a BAC test, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) in Florida will take immediate administrative actions against their license.
What should I know about implied consent?
When a driver is stopped for DUI, a police officer may ask them to submit to preliminary tests. These are roadside sobriety tests, which will work to examine the motor skills of the driver and see if they match with the known motor impairments of someone with an elevated BAC. An officer may also ask you to take a breath test on the side of the road. Unless you have been formally placed in custody for driving under the influence, you can politely refuse to take any of these tests.
Any testing of BAC that occurs after a formal arrest is legally mandated. You can find yourself facing:
- 1 year license suspension for a first refusal
- 18 month license suspension for a second or subsequent refusal
The license suspension is action automatically taken by the DHSMV. When you go to court to fight against these accusations, refusing to take a BAC test while in custody can be used as evidence against you.
A driver that has been stopped for DUI must make every attempt to minimize the evidence against them. It is generally recommended that, unless you are completely sober, you refuse to take the test offered before your arrest. Be aware, however, that a second refusal could be charged as a first degree misdemeanor. Working with a skilled Miami DUI defense attorney can help apply one of the many defenses to debunk breath test evidence, perhaps even getting the charges against you eliminated.
If you are wondering how you may be affected by a mandatory BAC test under Florida’s implied consent law, I can help. Contact the firm for a free initial case consultation and begin your defense against your DUI charges. Call Jonathan Blecher, P.A. today at (305) 707-0036.