Florida Breath Test Refusal Penalties

If you are suspected of drunk-driving and a police officer asks you to take a breathalyzer test, you are required under Florida law to take the test. That’s because Florida has an implied consent law. Florida’s implied consent law states that by merely driving within the State of Florida, you have consented to a chemical test of your breath, blood or urine if you are suspected of drunk-driving. If you refuse to take a chemical test, you will face repercussions that are separate and in addition to the penalties associated with a DUI conviction.

Penalties for a Refusal to Take a Breathalyzer Test

If you are asked to take a breathalyzer test and you refuse, you will be cited for violating Florida’s implied consent law. This citation will be in addition to your DUI charge. If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, the police officer will immediately confiscate your license at the scene. You will be issued a citation, and this citation will serve as your driver’s license for the next ten days.

A first-time violation of Florida’s implied consent law is not a criminal offense. However, you could lose your driver’s license for up to one year even for a first-time refusal. If this is your second or third refusal, you could be facing a criminal charge. Additionally, your driver’s license can be suspended for 18 months for a second or third refusal. Keep in mind that these penalties are in addition to the penalties imposed for your DUI charge.

Challenging Your Driver’s License Suspension

If you act quickly, you have the opportunity to challenge your driver’s license suspension by requesting a formal review hearing. At the formal review hearing, you will have an opportunity to challenge the evidence against you as well as present evidence in your favor. On the other hand, you also have the option to waive a challenge to your driver’s license suspension. Each of these options carries its own benefits and consequences, and you should fully discuss the impact of your selection with an experienced DUI attorney in order to ensure that your rights are fully protected.