Florida DUI Implied Consent
Florida’s implied consent law states that all licensed drivers operating a vehicle on a public roadway in the state must submit to having his or her blood, breath or urine tested to measure their blood alcohol content. When you received your license—either in Florida or another state—you gave your consent to have your blood alcohol content measured if you are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence.
A Privilege, Not a Right
Florida drivers licenses and your ability to carry one are authorized by the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. Under the law, drivers licenses are considered administrative matters and Florida drivers are given the privilege—not the right—to operate a vehicle. Therefore, your license is not protected if you violate the implied consent law.
When you are arrested for a DUI after refusing the breath test, the officer will confiscate your license and replace it with a citation that explains the suspension process and that also serves as your temporary, 10-day license. You only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to contest the challenge of your license suspension by requesting a Formal Review Hearing. Failure to do so will result in a one-year administrative license suspension from the DMV, which will be imposed on top of any other license suspensions that the court may impose during the criminal portion of your DUI proceedings.
Formal Review Hearing: Appealing Your Automatic Suspension
You should work with an experienced DUI defense attorney as quickly as possible after your arrest to fight for your license. Your attorney will assist you with the procedures associated with challenging the suspension and will represent you at the Formal Review Hearing. If the proceedings are successful, first-time offenders may be granted a restricted license; repeat offenders may be able to receive a temporary and restricted permit. If the Formal Review Hearing is unsuccessful and this is your first refusal, you will lose your ability to drive for 90 days. If this was a repeat refusal, your driving privileges will be lost for an entire 18 months.
Although the law is clear in regards to the consequences for violating implied consent, there are ways to challenge this charge. If the arresting officer did not follow proper protocol by explaining the Implied Consent law to you in advance of offering the breathalyzer, your attorney will certainly have grounds to fight the charge and possibly have your license revocation dismissed.