DUI Test Refusal
Just like every other state in the nation, Florida’s “implied consent” law establishes that simply by accepting the privilege of being issued a driver’s license in Florida, every person gives his or her consent to submit to an approved chemical test or physical test if the person is lawfully arrested for any offense allegedly committed while he or she was driving or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or a chemical or controlled substance. Refusal to submit to a chemical or physical breath test upon the request of a law enforcement officer is admissible into evidence in any criminal proceeding and can lead to a person not only being charged with driving under the influence (DUI), but also refusal to submit.
Prosecutors will argue that an alleged offender’s refusal itself is evidence of “consciousness of guilt,” but the lack of the evidence such tests normally provide can make it very difficult for the same prosecutors to prove the guilt of alleged offenders beyond a reasonable doubt. Not all refusals to submit to testing are necessarily refusals, however, as many alleged offenders may be accused of refusing if they were argumentative with authorities or were unable to provide valid samples.Attorney for DUI Test Refusal Arrests in Broward County, FL
Did you allegedly refuse to submit to testing when you were arrested for a DUI offense in Broward County? You will want to make sure that you retain legal counsel as soon as possible. Contact The Hoffman Firm today.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who represents clients facing drunk driving charges in Margate, Dania Beach, Lauderhill, Hallandale Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and many surrounding areas of South Florida. Call (954) 524-4474 to have our attorney provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.
Overview of DUI Test Refusal in Fort Lauderdale
- How do previous refusals impact criminal charges?
- What are the consequences of refusing to submit to DUI testing?
- Where can I find more information about DUI test refusal in Broward County?
Florida DUI Test Refusal Charges
The first sentence of Florida Statute § 316.193 states:
Any person who accepts the privilege extended by the laws of this state of operating a motor vehicle within this state is, by so operating such vehicle, deemed to have given his or her consent to submit to an approved chemical test or physical test including, but not limited to, an infrared light test of his or her breath for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his or her blood or breath if the person is lawfully arrested for any offense allegedly committed while the person was driving or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages.
The statute further establishes that a chemical or physical breath test must be incidental to a lawful arrest and administered at the request of a law enforcement officer who has reasonable cause to believe an alleged offender was driving or was in actual physical control of the motor vehicle within Florida while under the influence of alcoholic beverages, and the administration of a breath test does not preclude the administration of another type of test.
An alleged offender must be told that his or her failure to submit to any lawful test of his or her breath will result in the suspension of his or her driver’s license for a period of one year for a first refusal, or for a period of 18 months if the driving privilege of the alleged offender has been previously suspended as a result of a refusal to submit to such a test or tests. An alleged offender also needs to be told that if he or she refuses to submit to a lawful test of his or her breath and his or her driving privilege has been previously suspended for a prior refusal to submit to a lawful test of his or her breath, urine, or blood, he or she commits a first-degree misdemeanor in addition to any other penalties.
DUI Test Refusal Penalties in Broward County
As a first-degree misdemeanor offense, a conviction for a second or subsequent refusal to submit to chemical testing is punishable by:
- Up to 12 months in jail; and/or
- Fine of up to $1,000.
Refusal to submit to DUI testing results in an automatic administrative suspension of the alleged offender’s driver’s license for the aforementioned periods. Alleged offenders have 10 days to request a formal review hearing to contest the suspension and possibly obtain a permit that allows them to continue driving while fighting the suspension.
When a hearing is not requested, an alleged offender must wait 90 days to apply for a hardship license for employment or business purposes if it was that person’s first refusal. When an alleged offender’s license was previously suspended for a test refusal, he or she cannot drive for any reason for 18 months if he or she does not request a hearing.
Florida Resources for DUI Test Refusal
Alcohol Testing Program | Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) — The FDLE Alcohol Testing Program has exclusive responsibility for the regulation of the operation, inspection and registration of breath test instruments, the regulation of the individuals who operate and inspect evidentiary breath test instruments, and the regulation of blood analysts who conduct blood alcohol testing. It approves alcohol reference solution lots used to test the accuracy and precision of evidentiary breath instruments. You can find information about breath testing, blood testing, and Intoxilyzer 8000 records.
Florida Statute § 316.193 | Tests for alcohol, chemical substances, or controlled substances; implied consent; refusal — View the full text of Florida’s implied consent law. You can learn more about the statutory responsibilities of the Alcohol Testing Program. You can also read about an alleged offender’s right to an independent test.
If you were arrested in South Florida for DUI and you allegedly refused to submit to any kind of chemical test, it is in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation. The Hoffman Firm defends individuals all over the greater Broward County area, including Davie, Plantation, Deerfield Beach, Pembroke Pines, Sunrise, and several other nearby communities.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman has experience on both sides of the aisle handling these kinds of issues in drunk driving cases because he is a former Assistant State Attorney for the Broward County State Attorney’s Office. You can have our lawyer review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call (954) 524-4474 or complete an online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.