What Happens If I Refuse a Breath Test in Florida?

Miami beach

After the police arrest someone for drunk driving, an officer will ask the driver to take a breath test to determine his/her blood alcohol content (BAC) level. But are drivers required to consent to such tests? 

According to Florida’s implied consent law, anyone who drives a vehicle in the state automatically consents to submit to chemical testing (e.g. breath, blood, or even urine test) after a lawful DUI arrest. Law enforcement officials must establish probable cause to believe a driver was operating or in physical control of a vehicle while drunk or on drugs in order to make a lawful arrest. 

The following are the consequences of refusing a post-arrest chemical test in Florida: 

  • First refusal – Punishable by driver’s license suspension for up to one year. 

  • Second refusal – Considered a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries a jail term of up to one year, a maximum fine of $1,000, and driver’s license suspension for up to 18 months. 

In addition, a driver’s refusal can be used against him/her in the criminal case. Although refusal does not prove the driver was intoxicated, the prosecution could claim the refusal clearly means the driver was trying to hide intoxication. 

If you or a loved one has recently been arrested in Miami, the Law Office of Armando J. Hernandez, P.A. can listen to your story, assess your case, and figure out all your available defenses to avoid conviction and get you back on the road as soon as possible. Common types of legal defenses include lack of probable cause, lack of reasonable suspicion, lack of implied consent warning, a mistake by the police, or invalid consent. 

To schedule a free consultation, contact us today at (305) 400-0074 to discuss your case with our experienced DUI lawyer in Miami.