Can you refuse to submit to a blood alcohol test in Florida?

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2024 | DUI Defense

If the police arrest you on suspicion of drunk driving, they will usually ask you to take a test. Under Florida law, you are deemed to have already given consent to an approved chemical or physical test for alcohol. 

Thus, you could face unfavorable consequences, if you refuse, including:

The loss of your driving privileges

If you refuse to submit to a lawful blood alcohol test after arrest, your driving privileges may be suspended for one year for a first refusal or 18 months for a second or subsequent refusal.

If you are a commercial driver, a first refusal to submit to a blood alcohol test may result in your commercial driver’s license being disqualified for one year. A second or subsequent refusal may lead to a permanent disqualification.

A possible misdemeanor charge

In Florida, anyone who refuses to submit to a lawful blood alcohol test and whose license had previously been suspended due to a similar offense commits a first-degree misdemeanor, which is subject to appropriate punishment.

However, before such a driver is found to have committed a first-degree misdemeanor, the law enforcement or correctional officer in charge must notify them about the suspension of driving privileges due to a refusal of a test and the grounds that may lead to a first-degree misdemeanor. 

If you are charged with refusing to submit to a chemical or physical test after an arrest, it is advisable to consider seeking legal guidance to defend yourself. Remember, this charge will be in addition to the one the arrest was originally for and the potential consequences for your future could be serious.