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What are the consequences of Florida’s Implied Consent Law?

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Criminal Defense, Drunk Driving (DUI)

The implied consent law is crucial in cases involving driving under the influence (DUI). Aside from impacting the legal process, it may also affect potential penalties.

In Florida, the law operates under the principle of implied consent. The term means that by choosing to drive a motor vehicle within the state, a person automatically consents to testing if the cops suspect them of DUI. Whether you are a seasoned driver or a newcomer behind the wheel, what should you do if you need to undergo testing under the suspicion of DUI?

How the law works

When a law enforcement officer has sufficient reason to suspect that someone has committed a DUI, they can request a lawful breath, blood or urine test. The test will determine the alcoholic content of their blood or breath or detect the presence of chemical or controlled substances.

Penalties for refusal

A driver who refuses to submit to lawful testing can face penalties, including the suspension of their license. Refusing for the first time will lead to a license suspension for one year. Meanwhile, subsequent refusals will cause an 18-month suspension. Moreover, a driver’s subsequent refusals can become evidence against them in court.

A driver’s rights under implied consent

While the implied consent law requires a driver under the suspicion of DUI to submit to testing, they still have rights. For one, the officer should have probable cause to arrest them for DUI. In addition, the officer must inform them of the consequences of refusing the test.

Challenging implied consent

Meanwhile, a driver can challenge the test results or the legality of the test itself if they think that the officer violated their rights. They can question the reliability of the testing equipment and the qualifications of the person administering the test. In addition, they can dispute the legality of the traffic stop.

Facing a DUI charge

Knowing your obligations and rights as a driver is essential, especially if you are facing a DUI charge. Seeking legal assistance may guide you through the complexities of the charge. Additionally, it may help you better protect your rights as well as your driving record.