If you're pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida, you may be required to take a breathalyzer test or other sobriety test to determine your level of intoxication. This is because Florida, like many other states, has an implied consent law that requires drivers to submit to chemical testing if they are lawfully arrested for DUI.
Yet, many people don't fully understand what implied consent means or how it works in practice.
What is Implied Consent Law?
Implied consent law is a legal doctrine that implies drivers have given their consent to chemical testing if they are arrested for DUI. This means that if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test or other sobriety test after being lawfully arrested for DUI, you can face additional penalties, such as a driver's license suspension or even criminal charges.
However, implied consent law doesn't give law enforcement officers unlimited power to conduct sobriety tests. There are certain rules and procedures they must follow to ensure that your rights are protected.
In Florida, a first refusal is punishable by license suspension for 12 months. a second or subsequent refusal can result in longer license suspension periods and even jail time.
Your Rights Under Implied Consent Law
As a driver in Florida, you have certain rights when it comes to implied consent law.
For example, you have the right to:
- Be informed of your rights and the consequences of refusing a sobriety test
- Choose which type of sobriety test you want to take (breathalyzer, blood, or urine)
- Have your own independent test performed by a qualified professional
- Have an attorney present during any sobriety testing
However, it's important to note that these rights are not absolute. If you refuse to take a sobriety test, you can still face penalties, such as a driver's license suspension.
Tips for Dealing with Implied Consent Law
If you're pulled over for suspicion of DUI in Florida, there are several things you can do to protect your rights and minimize the potential consequences of implied consent law. These include:
- Cooperating with law enforcement officers, but not admitting guilt or answering any questions without an attorney present
- Choosing the breathalyzer test over other types of sobriety tests, as it is generally considered less invasive and more reliable
- Contacting an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible to help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights
Implied consent law can be confusing and intimidating, but with the right knowledge and preparation, you can protect your rights and minimize the potential consequences of a DUI arrest.
If you're facing charges related to DUI or implied consent law in Florida, don't hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Grossman, LLC for experienced and effective legal representation.