What Happens If You Refuse a Breathalyzer Test in Florida?
Florida is one of the states that has an implied consent law, meaning if you drive on a public road, you have automatically consented to any blood, breath, or urine test a law enforcement officer asks you to take. Therefore, if a police officer pulls you over and arrests you with reasonable probable cause that you have been driving under the influence (DUI), you must submit to a blood alcohol content (BAC) check. If you do not, you will be automatically penalized.
Because of the implied consent law, refusing to take a breathalyzer test will lead to an automatic suspension of your driver’s license. If it’s your first refusal, your license will be suspended for a year, but if it’s your second or subsequent offense, your license will be suspended for eighteen months. Likewise, you may face jail time or additional fines for committing a misdemeanor.
However, the Florida Supreme Court held a person’s driver’s license couldn’t be suspended for refusing to take the test if you were stopped without reasonable suspicion or probable cause. Without one of these important distinctions, your DUI arrest was unlawful, and you would, therefore, not be punished for refusing the test.
Additionally, the police officer is obligated to inform you of the consequences if you refuse to take a BAC test. If he or she does not warn you of this in advance, your criminal defense attorney may be able to argue you were unaware of the consequences of your refusal.
If you’re facing a DUI charge, or your license has been suspended for a refusal to take a breathalyzer test, make sure you speak to a skilled Florida DUI attorney as soon as possible. Our lawyers at Musca Law have more than 150 years of combined experience to offer your case. We would be happy to answer your questions and concerns regarding your case, and we can also offer you fierce and dedicated advocates who will fight for your rights and freedom.
Talk to us about your case in a free consultation. We can be reached at (888) 497-0216 or by filling out our online form. We look forward to speaking with you.