DUI and Implied Consent: What You Need to Know
Many states across the country have passed what are known as “implied consent” laws. Florida is no exception. If you are lawfully arrested by an officer who has probable cause to believe you have been driving under the influence (DUI), you have given your implied consent to take a blood, breath, or, urine test to determine blood alcohol content (BAC) by driving on a public road, highway, or freeway.
The implied consent law also applies if you are asked to take more than one test. For example, if the officer who initially stopped you administered a breath test, then he or she has the option of also making you take an additional test.
If you refuse to take the test, there are immediate consequences, which the officer should tell you. After refusing to take the test, your license will be suspended, and your refusal will be used against you later in court. The officer should also inform you that if you had your license suspended before for refusing a chemical test in the past, this subsequent refusal would count as a misdemeanor.
A first-time refusal will result in a one-year license suspension, while a second or subsequent refusal will lead to an eighteen-month license suspension. You might also face additional consequences, such as jail time, by being guilty of a misdemeanor.
In most situations, if you refuse to take a BAC test, you can’t be forced to do so. However, the state may administer the test if you are unconscious, even if you haven’t yet been arrested. Likewise, if you have been arrested by an officer who hasn’t given you a BAC test, you can ask for one. Once you ask, the officer must administer the test.
Refusing to take a BAC test doesn’t guarantee you won’t be convicted of a DUI. You can still be found guilty regardless of whether or not your BAC was determined to be more than 0.08%. The prosecution can also use your refusal against you by arguing you refused the test because you knew it would verify your guilt.
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, don’t hesitate to call one of our skilled Florida DUI attorneys. Musca Law has more than 150 years of combined legal experience to offer your case. Give yourself your best chance of avoiding jail time, high fines, and a mark on your criminal record by letting us defend your rights and freedom.
Contact us at (888) 497-0216 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.