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Can I refuse to take a blood alcohol test?

On Behalf of | Aug 18, 2020 | drunk driving defense |

If you are driving a vehicle in Florida and a police officer suspects that you are under the influence of alcohol, he or she is going to pull you over. Then, the officer is likely to ask you to submit to a blood alcohol content test. 

According to Florida statute, refusal to take a test results in the suspension of your driver’s license. 

Implied consent

Operating a vehicle in the State of Florida is a privilege for drivers. In exchange for that privilege, you give the state your consent to submit to chemical and physical tests to determine the alcohol content in your blood. However, this is only valid if it is incidental to a lawful arrest and when an officer has a reasonable cause to believe that you have driven under the influence of alcohol. 

Law enforcement officers use different types of tests to measure BAC. These tests can be physical or chemical, including an infrared analysis. This law applies no matter what type of test the officer proposes administering. Submitting to a breath test does not prevent the administration of a different kind of test. 

Suspension of license

When you refuse to consent to a BAC test and this is your first refusal, you will be subject to a suspension of your driver’s license. This suspension is for a period of one year. 

However, if you had a previous suspension for another refusal, that suspension increases to 18 months based upon your prior refusal. Additionally, the state charges you with a misdemeanor. In any criminal proceeding, your refusal to submit to a BAC test is admissible as evidence.