If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you probably had some form of test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) and whether you were intoxicated while driving.
Police have the right to administer these tests under Florida’s Implied Consent Law. If you believe your rights have been violated or this law was misused, then a Daytona Beach DUI attorney can help.
What Is Florida’s Implied Consent Law?
In Florida, any person who has the privilege of driving is deemed to have given their implied consent to submit to a breath or urine test to determine their BAC while operating a motor vehicle. Essentially, when you receive your Florida driver’s license, you’re automatically giving law enforcement permission to test for alcohol or drugs in your system if you are under suspicion of DUI.
Can I Refuse Implied Consent?
You may be tempted to say no to a breath or urine test during a DUI stop. However, there are severe consequences for this in Florida. The penalties for a first refusal of this test include a one-year suspension of your driver’s license. If you refuse a test on a second occasion, the penalties are much steeper, including:
- 18-month driver’s license suspension
- First-degree misdemeanor
- Up to one year in jail or 12-month probation
- Fines of up to $1,000
Simply refusing a DUI test can impact the rest of your life — and these penalties are in addition to any you might face if you’re found guilty of drunk driving. If you’ve been arrested for DWI or DUI, a Deland criminal defense attorney experienced in these cases can help mitigate your consequences.
What Is Included in Implied Consent?
Florida’s Implied Consent Law covers several types of tests for alcohol or controlled substances in your bloodstream.
- Breath tests are administered if a law officer has probable cause to believe that you’re operating a vehicle under the influence. If you have a breath test, you may still be required to have other tests to confirm the results.
- Urine tests can detect both alcohol and other chemical substances (i.e., drugs). This test is also administered if the officer believes that you’re under the influence, and it must be given at a detention facility, or another authorized facility equipped to administer the test.
- Blood tests may be administered only under three circumstances: First, when a breath or urine test is impossible; second, when there’s reason to believe the individual caused serious bodily harm or death; and third, when the individual voluntarily consents.
Can a Daytona Beach DUI Attorney Defend Me Against Implied Consent?
As part of your DUI defense, your lawyer may challenge whether the test results are admissible as evidence that you were under the influence. This means they can challenge the implied consent law or argue that you had a wrongful arrest. Some common ways that your lawyer may contest your charge include:
- No probable cause to request that you take a test
- A mistake in the traffic stop itself
- You didn’t actually refuse to take a test
- You weren’t warned about implied consent
- No reason to believe that you were driving or in physical control of the vehicle
- Invalid consent to the test
- Inaccurate statements were made about the law
However, each case is different, and your lawyer will advise you of the best course of action for your circumstances. Remember, your Daytona Beach DUI defense attorney is your advocate in a DUI case.