April 27, 2018

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What Happens if I Refuse a Breathalyzer or Blood Test in Orlando?

The law in Florida states that you can be arrested for Driving under the Influence, DUI, if your blood alcohol level is 0.08 percent or more and 0.05 percent if you are under 21. It is not important if you seemed to be impaired when you were driving and the very fact you were driving a vehicle is implied consent for any chemical tests of your blood to check the amount of alcohol. In fact, you don’t even have to be driving your vehicle, as Florida law says if you are alcohol impaired and you are either driving, or in physical control of a car, that is an offence. Physical control includes if you are sleeping in the car while parked with the keys in your pocket. Sleeping off the alcohol is not a legal defense.

If you refuse to take any type of test, either urine, breath or blood, law enforcement cannot make you take it. However there are penalties for refusal and although they are less stringent than if you were convicted, you could still be sent to jail if you have refused a test before. In fact, prosecutors can say you refused as you knew you were guilty of DUI.

In addition you will lose your license, and the penalty will depend on whether it is the first time you have done so. The first time you refuse, your license will be suspended for a year and if it is the second or third time, 18 months.

If you are unconscious then law enforcement is allowed to administer a test and if an officer arrests you and doesn’t test you then you are allowed to ask for one. If you do so, law enforcement has to carry out the test.

If you are ever charged with DUI please know that you are not alone. You have a right to expert legal counsel, and you should definitely exercise this right when being charged with DUI.