Can I Refuse A Breath Test In South Florida?

In the State of Florida, you are required to take a chemical test if you are arrested for DUI. Florida has a law known as implied consent. This means that if you are lawfully arrested by an officer who has probably cause that you were driving under the influence, then you automatically consent to taking a chemical test of breath, blood or urine in order to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) or to test for drugs in your system. Additionally, an officer may ask you to perform more than one test. For example, if an officer first chooses to have you take a breath test, the officer can also make you take an additional test, any you may not refuse without penalty.

Once you are arrested, an officer must tell you that if you refuse to take the test, your license will be suspended and your refusal may be used against you in court. You should also be told by law enforcement that if you had your license suspended before due to the refusal of a chemical test, then any subsequent refusal is a misdemeanor and that your license will be suspended again.

Should you refuse to take a chemical test in Florida after you are arrested for DUI, and it is your first refusal, you will lose your license for one year. For second and any subsequent refusals, your license will be suspended for 18 months and you will be charged with a misdemeanor, which may be punishable by up to one year in jail. If you refuse a test, you generally cannot be forced to take one. However, if an officer finds you unconscious, the state may be able to administer a test. If you are arrested an an officer does not give you a test, you are allowed to ask for one.

In Florida, even if you refuse a chemical test after being arrested for DUI, you can go to jail for refusing more than once. If you are convicted of DUI, you will face fines, jail time and the possibility of an ignition interlock device being installed in your car. Refusal of a chemical test does not mean you won't be convicted. The prosecution may use your refusal against you in court by claiming that you knew you were intoxicated and guilty of DUI.