Getting pulled over by the police can be intimidating, even if you were obeying the law. However, if you’ve had a few drinks or the officer suspects you of being intoxicated because you are fatigued or on prescribed medication, you may face DUI charges.

Since the consequences for DUI convictions are incredibly severe in the state of Florida and will stay on your record for 75 years, it is imperative that you know your legal rights. You will be presented with an array of tests to help officers determine whether or not you are under the influence, and while you may refuse, you may also wind up in trouble with the law.

What Are the Consequences of Refusing DUI Tests?

The police generally administer three different kinds of tests to drivers who they suspect are intoxicated while behind the wheel. These tests include field sobriety tests, blood tests, and breathalyzer tests. You can refuse to take the field sobriety tests or breathalyzer test but blood tests cannot be refused, especially if you have been involved in a car accident that caused injuries to others.

Even though you can refuse the field tests and breathalyzer, you will face immediate consequences because of Florida’s implied consent law.

What Does Implied Consent Mean in Florida Law?

Under Florida’s strict laws, the implied consent statute states that any person who has the privilege to drive in the state has issued implied consent to submit to a chemical test in situations where an officer has probable cause to believe they are under the influence. Essentially, this means that by driving in Florida, you have already consented to this test.

Refusing to take a breathalyzer test, even though it is your right, will result in having your license suspended for a year. Suppose you are pulled over again with probable cause that you have been drinking and driving. In that case, a second refusal or consequent refusals of the breathalyzer test may result in having your license suspended for 18 months and fines up to $1,000.

It is important to note that refusing the breathalyzer test doesn’t just include telling the police officer that you will not take this test. If you are unable to complete the breath test, act aggressively toward the officer, make it impossible for them to conduct the test, or remain silent, that may be considered a refusal.

What Can You Do If You Refuse the Breathalyzer?

No matter the reason for your refusal or inability to take the breathalyzer test, you may face serious consequences for those actions. However, your rights are important too, and if the officer who stopped you doesn’t have proof that the stop was lawful, an attorney can help fight your charges.

Working with a DUI lawyer gives you a better chance of getting your case dismissed or getting the charges reduced. While results can never be guaranteed, an attorney who has experience with Florida DUI cases will know what to look for to cast doubt on the prosecution’s claims. They will also know the best ways to defend you when your license is suspended for refusing a breathalyzer test and advise you on what to do next.

Click here for more information on Florida’s relevant DUI laws and how an attorney can protect your legal rights. 


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