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What to know about Florida’s implied consent law

On Behalf of | May 19, 2022 | DUI Defense

All states make impaired driving a crime, which includes legal and illegal drugs. Some officers may administer a chemical test to check suspected drunk drivers. Drivers face stiff penalties for refusing chemical tests under Florida’s implied consent law.

Overview of implied consent

A driver has given consent to undergo chemical testing in Florida when they are issued a license. A chemical test is commonly done by using a breathalyzer device, which collects a breath sample, and a blood or urine test.

A driver is legally required to take a breathalyzer or a urine test but not a blood test except in certain situations. For example, if the driver is unconscious, the officer may request a blood draw because it is implied the driver gave their consent.

The penalty for the first refusal of a chemical test is a one-year automatic license suspension. Some drivers may be eligible for a restricted license after completing an evaluation and substance abuse course.

Defenses to chemical tests

For the charges to count, the arrest must be lawful; otherwise, the DUI defense can challenge it. DUI cases require reasonable suspicion, meaning that the officer believed that the driver broke a law, such as running a stop sign. The officer also needs probable cause to arrest you, or they must get proof through observations, driver actions, and field sobriety tests.

Blood and urine tests that are not handled and stored properly to avoid contamination may give false results. Sometimes, a breath test gives a false positive because some medical conditions, such as diabetes, produce substances with alcoholic properties called acetones. Laws require breath tests to get calibrated, which is testing their sensors, or they may give false results.

A DUI can result in lengthy jail terms, license suspension, fines, higher insurance premiums, and a criminal record. However, tests aren’t always right, and it’s important to examine all sides of a situation.