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A middle aged man is taking a breath test.Simply put, in terms of a DUI arrest in Florida, the term “implied consent” means that when you accept the privilege of driving in Florida, you consent to take a breath, urine, or blood test is implied.  So, if you are found unconscious at the scene of an accident and the officer has reason to believe you are under the influence of alcohol or a chemical or controlled substance, your breath, urine, or blood depending on the situation can be captured and tested since you have already given consent.  No further consent is necessary.

In reality in Florida, the implied consent warning is often used as evidence against you if you refuse to take the tests.

Frequently, prosecutors are left without a breath test result or any evidence whatsoever of the alcohol content of a driver’s breath or blood.  To help prosecutors still obtain convictions when a person refuses to take the requested test, the Florida Legislature created Florida’s Implied Consent Statute.

The law requires an officer to inform a driver who has refused testing that:

  • his or her failure to submit to any lawful test of his or her breath will result in the suspension of the person’s privilege:
    • For 1 year for a first refusal
    • For 18 months for a second or subsequent refusal.
  • and shall also be told that if he or she refuses to submit to a lawful test of his or her breath and his or her driving privilege has been previously suspended for a prior refusal to submit to a lawful test of his or her breath, urine, or blood
    • he or she commits a misdemeanor of the first degree.
  • Finally, he or she shall also be told that the refusal to submit to a chemical or physical breath test upon the request of a law enforcement officer as provided in this section is admissible into evidence in any criminal proceeding.

So, to summarize, a person who refuses a lawful implied consent test faces the following consequences:

  • Suspension of driving privilege for 1 year for a first refusal
  • Suspension of driving privileges for 18 months for second or subsequent refusal
  • A criminal charge for refusal for second or subsequent refusals
    • Punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine
  • The jury will be told they refused to take the test (Consciousness of Guilt).

Our DUI Defense Law Firm Will Help Defend Your Rights

In actual practice, the DUI defense experts at Katz & Phillips, P.A. have found that unless you are in a county where the breath test results are suppressed, it is typically easier to resolve a DUI when the test has been refused.  Further, when the test has been refused, there is less evidence of guilt for the prosecutor to put before the jury, which is beneficial to the Defendant.  Contact our DUI defense law firm for a consultation of your case.