Florida drivers, did you know there’s a common misconception about DUI stops that could significantly impact your rights?

Picture of Albert Quirantes, Esq.

Albert Quirantes, Esq.

Let’s clear the air. Consider Tom, a Florida resident driving home after a late dinner with friends. When he saw the police lights flashing behind him, his mind raced—had he swerved? Was his taillight out? The officer suspected Tom had been drinking and initiated a DUI stop.

Like many, Tom thought refusing the breathalyzer test might save him from a DUI charge. What Tom didn’t realize is that in Florida, the law includes implied consent; by holding a Florida driver’s license, you’ve already agreed to submit to a breath, blood or urine test.

Refusing the breathalyzer not only didn’t prevent a DUI charge but also added penalties, including an automatic license suspension. This is a critical piece of information that many Florida drivers aren’t aware of, leading to decisions at DUI stops that compound their legal troubles.

If you’re a Florida driver and find yourself in a situation like Tom’s, remember, knowledge is power. Understanding the nuances of Florida’s DUI laws can make all the difference. A first time refusal of an approved test will cause a one-year drivers license suspension. Although you can challenge that by getting a lawyer within the first 10 days, the State Attorney will be asking for stiffer penalties when it comes to negotiating a deal to resolve your case in court. If it’s your second time, refusing a breath, blood or urine test, you’re facing a suspension of driving privileges for 18 months with no hardship license, and a criminal misdemeanor in court punishable by up to a year in jail, apart from the DUI case.

Although there are no penalties for refusing roadside sobriety exercises, such as an eye test, walk the line, touch your nose, etc., the licensesuspension kick in if you refuse a breath, blood or urine test.

If you’ve faced a DUI stop, refused a test, or just want to understand your rights better, reach out and call or text, “The Q” – Albert Quirantes, Esq. Criminal DUI & Ticket Lawyers at 305-644-1800. Let’s discuss your case and ensure you’re equipped with the information and representation you need to navigate these challenging waters.

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