When someone has been pulled over by police, it is generally because a traffic offense has been committed or there is a reasonable suspicion that it has been. With regard to a DUI, this could mean that other motorists or the officer noticed erratic driving. Refusing BAC tests if requested to submit to one by the officer, while allowable, can result in consequences because of Florida’s implied consent laws for DUI.

What does implied consent mean?

Driving is considered a privilege. And because of that, in the state of Florida, DUI laws require implied consent to submit to a blood, breath or urine test when pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving. Law enforcement must notify the driver of the consequences of refusing a BAC test. Additionally, the person may have to undergo a second test, if it is requested.

What are the consequences of refusing a BAC test?

If this is the first time a driver has refused to take the test, driving privileges can be suspended for 12 months. If someone’s license was previously suspended for refusing to take a field sobriety test, then it is considered a misdemeanor and driving privileges could be taken away for 18 months.

Although no one can be physically forced to take these tests, refusing to do so has consequences of which drivers should be aware. These refusals can also be admitted as evidence. Additionally, when a driver refuses to take a Breathalyzer, almost always the police officer will just cart him or her down to the precinct office.

Do I need to talk to an attorney if I have been arrested for a DUI?

Whether or not a driver has refused to take a test, an arrest for a DUI is a serious matter. It’s important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.

There may be defenses that affect the outcome; for instance, if it can be proven there wasn’t reasonable cause to have been stopped by a police officer in the first place or if the officer never informed the driver of the consequences of refusing a test.

These cases can be very complicated, especially when questions arise concerning one’s rights under Florida’s laws for DUI. It is in the person’s best interest to secure legal representation right away. The Law Offices of Robert David Malove can help. Call us at (888) 744-8225 to schedule a consultation and see our free guide, How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Florida.