Fort Myers, FL – The state of Florida has printed the implied consent law on all driver’s licenses. This law essentially says that anyone who is suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol must submit to a chemical test of breath, blood, or urine, otherwise the suspect will lose their driving privileges. The person can also be charged with a DUI refusal even if the state does not have the chemical evidence to prove that the person was actually intoxicated at the time that they drove. There are several reasons why a person may or may not want to take the breath test, and this should be discussed with an attorney.
Based on police procedures for collecting evidence, the suspect is already under arrest when they are asked to provide a breath or urine sample. This means that the person will not be released regardless of the results, and in cases where the person knows that they were intoxicated, they are supplying the government with evidence that will be used against them during prosecution. Preventing the state from having scientific evidence of intoxication is one of the reasons why some people choose to refuse the chemical test. This means that during a trial, the state will have to rely on factors such as the officer’s observations and the person’s driving pattern to prove intoxication, rather than the results of the test.
Penalties for refusing the test
A person who is charged with a DUI refusal will lose their driver’s license for at least twelve months, and eighteen months if they have prior convictions for similar offenses. There is also the possibility of up to one year of jail time, as the crime is considered a first degree misdemeanor. There are fines that must be paid, and it is possible that the driver may have to install an ignition interlock device on their car.
Is it a good idea to refuse the test?
This is a decision that should be made on a case by case basis with a lawyer’s advice. The lack of chemical test results make it harder for the state to prove the charges or add enhancements for a high blood alcohol reading, although the government knows this and essentially charges the person with the same penalties as a DUI case with test results for their refusal to cooperate.
Assistance with DUI charges in Florida
Michael Raheb is a DUI defense attorney who represents clients in the Fort Myers area. He is available to meet with anyone who is facing charges for drunk driving and related crimes and provide relevant advice.
Firm contact info:
2423 First Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901