Florida’s Implied Consent Laws
When investigating a motorist for driving under the influence, law enforcement officers usually ask the individual to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test, the results of which are then used to determine the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). In Florida, motorists who operate vehicles in the state are automatically assumed to agree to submit to these tests and those who fail to do so face fines and jail time, so if you were recently arrested for and charged with driving while under the influence or failing to provide a breath, urine, or blood sample, it is important to speak with an experienced Seminole DUI/BUI defense lawyer who can help you begin building a strong defense.
What is Implied Consent?
Under Florida’s implied consent law, motorists who hold a state driver’s license or who operate a vehicle in Florida are deemed to have already consented to certain tests if arrested for driving under the influence. However, this is only true if the arrest in question is lawful, which means that the officer must have probable cause to believe that a motorist was in control of a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In Florida, motorists who are arrested for driving under the influence must submit to infrared light breath tests, which are more commonly referred to as breathalyzer tests. If, on the other hand, police officers suspect that a motorist is under the influence of a controlled substance, that individual can be required to submit to a urine test. It’s important to note that drivers are not required to take blood tests unless a breath or urine test is impossible or impractical, which usually means that a driver is unconscious or hospitalized.
What are the Consequences of Refusing a BAC Test?
By driving in the state, motorists agree to abide by Florida’s implied consent laws, so those who fail to submit to a breath test when arrested face serious penalties, including a one year driver’s license suspension, even for a first offense. Subsequent refusals, however, carry an 18 month suspension.
Those whose licenses have been suspended for a failure to take a breathalyzer test could be eligible for a temporary restricted license, which allows motorists to drive for business and educational purposes. To be eligible, applicants must complete a substance abuse education class and may be required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. Drivers who violate the implied consent law a third time, however, are not eligible for a restricted license, even when these requirements are fulfilled.
Call Today for Help with Your Case
Drivers whose licenses are suspended for refusing a breathalyzer test can contest that suspension, but can only do so by submitting written request for a formal review, which must be done within ten days. To learn more about your own rights and options following a refusal to take a breathalyzer test, please contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer at The Reep Law Firm at 727-330-6502 today.