Answers to Your Questions About Florida’s Implied Consent Statute
It is well-known to most Florida motorists that the penalties for drunk driving are severe, but you may not be as familiar with a crime closely associated with state DUI laws: Violation of Florida’s implied consent statute. Often termed a scenario of “refusal to blow,” you could face serious criminal charges for not complying with the law. Under the circumstances, you are probably quite confused since you do not understand how you could have impliedly consented to follow it. If you do grasp the basics, you might think that refusing the blow is the best choice you can make to protect your interests.
Many other drivers share your confusion about implied consent laws and consequences for violating it, which is why retaining a Florida DUI defense attorney is crucial. To gain some general insight on the topic, check out some answers to common questions about implied consent.
What is the point of Florida’s implied consent statute? To reduce the number of people who thought they could avoid a DUI by refusing a chemical testing of their blood alcohol concentration (BAC), lawmakers made it an offense. The justification of the law is that driving in the state is a privilege and, by taking advantage of it, a motorist is deemed to have given consent to a BAC test.
Is it a crime to refuse to blow? Yes, refusing to submit to a chemical test is a misdemeanor – contrary to what you might expect regarding what might seem to be a traffic violation. However, you should note two important points on Florida’s implied consent law:
- You are only required to take a chemical test for your BAC if you are already under arrest; and,
- You CAN lawfully refuse to take a test at the scene via a portable breathalyzer device.
Does the law apply to other chemical tests for BAC? The breathalyzer device may be the most common way to collect specimens, but officials may opt to measure your BAC through blood or urine tests. The implied consent laws also apply to these tests, so refusal is still a misdemeanor criminal offense.
What are the penalties for refusing a DUI test? As a misdemeanor crime, refusal to blow is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. In addition, there is the administrative penalty of your driver’s license being suspended for 18 months.
Can I still be charged for drunk driving if I refuse? You could still face DUI charges even after a refusal. Police and prosecutors could proceed with drunk driving charges based upon allegations that you were impaired, which does not require BAC evidence.
Get More Answers from a Florida DUI Defense Lawyer
While this information provides you with the basics about Florida’s implied consent law, you will still need experienced legal counsel on your side to fight the charges – as well as any DUI-related counts you face. For more information, please contact Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney Kevin J. Kulik. Once we review your circumstances, we can discuss potential defense strategies.