Understanding Florida’s Implied Consent Law

Florida Implied Consent Law

In Florida law, implied consent is a legal term that relates to motorists giving permission to police to test for intoxication while operating a vehicle. This is an idea that most don’t encounter until they’re faced with it, and can be a common source of confusion during and after an arrest.

Many people stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) are asked to submit to a breathalyzer to test blood alcohol content (BAC). A common question is whether or not it is possible or advisable to refuse breathalyzer testing.

The short answer is that there are penalties for refusing a breathalyzer in Florida, and the reason is because of implied consent.

To help you better understand Florida’s implied consent law, and how a lawyer can help you navigate it and other parts of a DUI charge, we’re sharing this helpful guide.

What does implied consent in Florida mean?

Implied consent is covered under Florida Statute 316.1932. This law states that by accepting the privilege of a driver’s license in Florida, drivers also consent to submit to an approved test if there is probable cause for a DUI. The test can be either a breathalyzer test or a urine test, and it must be administered in conjunction with a lawful arrest for a DUI.

An arrest for a DUI can be made at the scene of an accident or during a routine traffic stop if there is reasonable suspicion of intoxication, such as slurred speech or erratic driving. This can be further confirmed by conducting a field sobriety test (FST).

The legal limit for BAC in Florida is .08, and a person can be charged with a DUI if a breathalyzer or urine test is above that limit.

Penalties for Not Consenting to BAC Testing and How it Can Affect Your DUI Charge

Although it is possible to refuse BAC testing, the implied consent law means that there are penalties in the form of immediate license suspension. According to the law, this suspension will last for one year. Upon future arrests for suspicion of DUI, refusal to submit can result in a license suspension of 18 months with the potential for jail time.

Under implied consent, there are penalties for refusing, and it is still possible to be charged and convicted for DUI. Every case is different, but it is generally advisable to submit to a breathalyzer as it will help you avoid the immediate penalties, and if you are below the legal limit, can be used as evidence in your defense.

Questions About Implied Consent and How a DUI Lawyer Can Help

If you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI, you should work with an experienced lawyer no matter the circumstance of your case. Police officers and other law enforcement agents have very strict rules about conducting traffic stops, administering FSTs, and administering breathalyzers and other BAC testing. Attorneys with a background in DUI defense know how to perform a thorough investigation around the arrest and facts of the case.

Illegal traffic stops, failure to provide instructions for an FST, improper administration of an FST, leaving suspects alone before administering BAC tests, miscalibrated or inaccurate BAC testing equipment, and contradictory witness testimony are just a few examples of factors that can have a significant effect on the outcome of a case. In many situations, it is possible to have DUI charges reduced or even dropped.

Whether you have refused a breathalyzer test, or you submitted and blew over the legal limit, a qualified and experienced defense attorney will ensure that your rights are protected and you are being treated fairly under the law.

The team at Clark Hartpence Law has the knowledge and experience you need. Attorney Jeremy Clark worked as a public defender in the Sixth Judicial Circuit.  This means he has a deep understanding of the laws and penalties around DUI charges and implied consent in Florida. We know how to build cases to respond to arguments the state of Florida commonly uses in these situations.

Contact us today at (855) 680-4911 for your free consultation. A DUI arrest does not have to permanently affect your life. We will fight for you and work hard to achieve the best possible outcome for your specific charge and case.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.