Florida Implied Consent Law
When you are pulled over for driving under the influence of alcohol and asked to take a breath test, do you know what to do? If you are arrested for a DUI and told you have to take a blood or urine test, do you know how to respond? Many people are not sure of their rights when they are arrested for a DUI, which can lead them to make poor decision. For example, many people refuse to take a breath or other chemical test when they are arrested because they believe it will give the police less evidence against them. In truth, you may be required to submit to these tests.
Florida Implied Consent Law
Under Section 316.1932 of Florida’s motor vehicle code, any person who operates a vehicle within the state is deemed to have already agreed to submit to a chemical test or physical test to determine the alcohol content of his or her breath or blood if the person is lawfully arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. The law also states that a person consents to undergo a urine test to detect whether there are any controlled substances within his or her system.
In order to be required to take a breath, urine or blood test to determine your BAC or the presence of drugs, the police must:
- Have reasonable suspicion of impaired driving
- Conduct a valid arrest
- Request that you take the test, and
- Warn you of the penalties if you refuse to submit to a chemical test.
If any one of these factors is not fulfilled, then you have a strong defense against any charges related to violating Florida’s implied consent law and to the administrative suspension of your driver’s license. If your attorney can prove that the request or your refusal was invalid, then your civil license suspension can be invalidated as well and you can get back on the road.
Required Police Warning
When you are arrested for drunk or drugged driving in Florida, the police are required to give you oral and written notice of what will happen if you fail to submit to a legally requested chemical test. The police officer will usually read you Florida’s prescribed implied consent warning at the time of your arrest, which states that the officer is requesting a certain test and that if you fail to submit to the test, then your driving privileges will automatically be suspended. You will have the opportunity to consent or refuse in writing and receive a receipt of the warning.
Florida’s Administrative Suspension
If you refuse to submit to a lawful chemical test related to an arrest, you will face a civil, administrative suspension of your driver’s license. The minute you refuse to take a lawfully requested breath, urine or blood test, the police will take your driver’s license away. You will have 10 more days to drive before your administrative suspension kicks in and then your driving privileges are completely revoked. If you have never refused before, the suspension is for one year. If you have a previous refusal on record, your license is suspended for 18 months.
However, if you file for a hearing to review the license suspension, you may be granted up to 6 more weeks of driving on a temporary license or be allowed to drive until the hearing takes place. If the license suspension is upheld at the hearing, you can usually drive until temporary license expires. Then your administrative suspension begins and you cannot drive until it is complete.
Contact a Kissimmee Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you are facing charges for refusing to submit to a chemical test after being arrested for a DUI, you need to work with an attorney right away. Not only do you need to defend against criminal DUI charges, but your lawyer must fight your license suspension with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Call the experienced legal team of Salazar & Kelly Law Group, P.A. at 407-483-0500.