According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 20 percent of drunk driving suspects in the United States refuse to take a Breathalyzer or field sobriety test when an officer suspects they are driving under the influence. Many individuals use this tactic thinking it will get them out of a DUI charge. But while individuals are not required to provide a breath sample at the scene, they may still face serious consequences under implied consent laws.
Put simply, implied consent is consent which is not expressly given by another person, but rather inferred by his or her actions as well as the facts and circumstances surrounding the particular situation.
How Implied Consent Affects DUI Cases
Implied consent can affect a driver who is suspected to be driving under the influence. Technically, when an individual applies for a driver’s license, they are giving implied consent to field sobriety tests to determine whether or not they are impaired. This means that if a driver refuses to perform a field sobriety test, the driver may risk automatically losing his or her license, along with additional penalties.
Possible Penalties for Breathalyzer Test Refusal
The potential penalties for refusing a Breathalyzer test vary from state to state, but the majority of states impose a minimum of six to 12-month driver’s license suspension automatically after a refusal. In Florida, you are required to take a breath, blood, or urine test if you are arrested for driving under the influence. If you do refuse to take a Breathalyzer test in Florida, you can lose your license for one year or longer, particularly if you have already been convicted of a DUI in the past.
Call the Professionals at Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins
If you have been accused of driving under the influence, it is without a doubt a stressful time filled with uncertainty. However, you can get help from the experienced attorneys at Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins. Our legal team is knowledgeable about the DUI laws specific to Florida and can guide you through this trying time. We will work diligently to defend your rights and garner the best possible outcome for your unique situation.