Florida Breathalyzer Refusal

Florida law states that any motorist who is stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence must submit to a breathalyzer test at the request of an officer. This so-called Implied Consent law extends to all licensed drivers who are operating a vehicle on a public road in the state. If you refuse to take this test, you will lose your right to drive, unless you take the proper steps to save your license.

Refusal Penalties

If you refuse to take the breathalyzer test, your license will be immediately revoked and replaced with a form that will serve as your 10-day temporary license. Unless you challenge the suspension within that 10-day period, you will lose your license. For a first-offense DUI, the suspension will be one year. For a second or third offense, you will lose your license for 18 months and may also be charged with a misdemeanor for violating Florida’s Implied Consent law. Note that this misdemeanor charge will be added on to the DUI charge that you face, which could ultimately increase your sentence. It is important to note that the license suspension that stems from a breath test refusal is administrative, and separate from the criminal charges against you. You may be subject to an additional suspension as a result of your criminal case.  

Don’t Lose Your License

In order to protect your license after a breath test refusal, you must act within ten days of your arrest to challenge the suspension. It is extremely important to hire an experienced defense attorney who specializes in DUI law. Your attorney will be able to advise you of the best course of action to take in regard to appealing your suspension. He or she will also prepare all of the necessary paperwork for the appeals process and prepare to represent you both at that hearing and your DUI criminal case. Having a strong legal team on your side is one of the best ways to protect your driving privileges.