Like many states, Florida has an implied consent law for driving under the influence arrests. With implied consent, drivers who travel in the state agree to take a breath, blood or urine test upon law enforcement request.
If you live here or plan to visit Florida this summer, understand how implied consent affects your rights and responsibilities as a motorist.
Provisions of the implied consent law
According to state law, the court can use sobriety test refusal as evidence to support a DUI conviction. You can receive first-degree misdemeanor charges if you have refused a drug and alcohol test in the past.
Florida allows law enforcement officers to use portable breath tests or urine tests. State courts will admit the results as evidence. The law permits the use of blood tests only if urine and breath screenings are impossible.
If you were unconscious at the DUI scene, the officer can legally withdraw blood for a test under implied consent. When a driver causes an accident resulting in death or serious injury, certified medical staff can legally withdraw blood for a test by force.
License suspension and other penalties
If law enforcement stops your vehicle on suspicion of DUI, the officer may ask you to take a drug and alcohol screening. If you refuse to do so, the court can order a minimum 90-day and maximum one-year license suspension for the first offense. To request a hardship reinstatement, you must complete approved DUI education courses and present documentation at a court hearing.
If you have a previous breath test refusal on your record, you will not be eligible for hardship reinstatement. You must serve an 18-month license suspension, in addition to any suspension period resulting from the DUI charge.
Commercial drivers become ineligible for a commercial driver’s license for 12 months with no hardship reinstatement. A second test refusal results in permanent disqualification.
Breath or urine test refusal can also result in up to a year in jail depending on the circumstances of your case. The maximum fine for this offense is $1,000.