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What Happens If I Refuse DUI Chemical Test in Florida after a DUI stop?

When you are stopped for a Florida DUI and the police officer suspects that you may be impaired, he will ask you to submit to a chemical test. There are three possible chemical tests to find out your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) levels: blood, breath and urine test. In many cases, you will be asked to blow into a portable breath machine called a ‘breathalyzer’ or ‘Intoxilyzer.’ Do you have to submit to a chemical test in Florida? No, you can refuse to submit to a chemical test just like you can refuse to perform a field sobriety test. There is, however, a penalty under the law for refusing to submit to a chemical test and there is not one for refusing to perform a Field Sobriety Test.

Florida’s Implied Consent Law

Florida’s implied consent laws state that any individual who accepts the privilege of driving a vehicle within the state has given his consent to submit to a chemical test. You demonstrated this consent when you signed for your driver’s license. Also, if you are involved in a DUI accident that caused serious injury or death, Florida law says that police can use reasonable force, if necessary, to draw blood for a sample to determine your BAC. In Florida, like most other states, if you are arrested for a DUI, you will be asked to submit to a chemical test so police can determine the amount of alcohol in your system. In most instances, you will not be able to choose which BAC test you take. You may be asked to take two different chemical tests. For example, if your breath test comes back with a low BAC, but you have other behaviors of impairment, the officer may ask for a blood or urine test, suspecting that you may be under the influence of drugs.

Refusal of a BAC test in Florida

Refusing to submit to a breath test after a Florida DUI stop usually involves the officer presenting the test to the driver and the driver declines the request. However, there are other ways to refuse: * If you agree to take the breath test and complete it the first time but fail to complete the second test within 15 minutes * If you begin the breath test but fail to blow enough air into the device to register a result * If you do not answer the officer when he asks if you will submit to a Florida DUI breath test * If you become confrontational, belligerent and aggressive with the police officer Many Florida counties now require a person arrested for a Florida DUI who refused to take a chemical test be video recorded listening to the officer reading the implied consent warnings to the driver.

Penalties for a Florida DUI

If you are lawfully arrested for a DUI in Florida and refuse a chemical test, you will be subject to a mandatory license suspension. Also, if you have more than one refusal, you could be charged with a criminal misdemeanor. The penalties are: * First Offense: License suspension for 1 year * Second and Ensuing Offenses: License suspension for 18 months and possible first degree misdemeanor charges These penalties are in addition to the penalties for a typical DUI. DUI charges are serious and carry hard-hitting penalties if you are convicted. If you refused a BAC when you were arrested for a Florida DUI, you should contact an experienced DUI attorney in your area who can help you determine your best course of action.