We understand that if you are pulled over and asked to take a DUI test – whether it be a breathalyzer test, urinalysis, or field sobriety test – your first instinct may be to refuse, especially if you have had anything to drink prior to getting behind the wheel. However, while some may tell you that refusing to take a chemical or field sobriety test is your right – and it is – your refusal implies guilt. And if the authorities believe that you are guilty of drinking and driving, they will subject you to further legal action.
If you were recently pulled over for a DUI check, and if you refused to take a breathalyzer test, urine test, or to perform the field sobriety test, contact a Miami DUI attorney right away to evaluate the circumstances surrounding your case, and to build a defense to your DUI test refusal.
Your Defense to Refusing a Field Sobriety Test
If you refused to perform the standard field sobriety test, you may be able to build a defense around the fact that you were nervous, and that your nervousness could have caused you to fail the test and thereby implicate you for a DUI that you did not commit. Furthermore, you may be able to argue that your clothes—especially the type of shoes that you were wearing—were not conducive to a field sobriety test, and again, that you did not want to implicate yourself because of factors that you could not control at the time.
Finally, under Florida Statute 322.2615, refusal to perform a field sobriety test alone does not subject you to legal penalties, including the standard one-year driver’s license suspension that typically comes with a chemical sobriety test refusal. If your license was suspended because of your refusal, you have a right to contest the suspension, on top of defending your choice to not take the test in the first place.
Refusing a Chemical Sobriety Test
While refusing to take a field sobriety test in Florida is not grounds for suspension, refusing to take a chemical sobriety test is. In fact, your refusal to take a chemical sobriety test, such as a breathalyzer test, blood test, or urine test, can be submitted as evidence in DUI criminal proceedings. If convicted of a DUI on the grounds of your refusal, you will be subject to a one-year driver’s license suspension. This is due to Florida’s implied consent law, which means that all drivers who hold a valid Florida’s driver’s license have agreed to submit to a chemical sobriety test when they are suspected of driving under the influence simply by accepting the privilege to drive in Florida.
If you should refuse a chemical DUI test a second time, your license will be subject to suspension for an additional 18 months. Furthermore, you may be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor and subject to up to $1,000 in fines and one-year imprisonment.
What Constitutes As a Refusal?
Under Florida law, a simple “no” would be construed as a refusal to take a field sobriety test or chemical sobriety test. Furthermore, if the plaintiff was unable to provide sufficient samples required for a chemical sobriety test, if they gave neither a “yes” nor “no” response, or if they grew argumentative with the arresting officer, then the arresting officer may take the response for a refusal.
Consult a Florida DUI Attorney
At Musca Law, our drunk driving defense attorneys advocate for individuals who have been convicted or charged with driving under the influence. A DUI charge can severely affect your life and any opportunities you may or may not encounter in the future. To ensure that your life is not negatively affected by a DUI charge, contact our drunk driving defense attorneys today to learn more about how we can help you.