What Happens If You Deny Taking a Sobriety Taste In a DUI Arrest?
Approximately four out of every ten drivers who are stopped for DUI suspicions in the state of Florida will refuse a breath test. This happens despite the fact that anyone who has the privilege of driving in the state of Florida has given their implied consent to submit to an approved test in such a situation. Approved testing can include blood, urine, or field sobriety tests.
However, Orlando DUI defense lawyers state that there is one caveat to the implied consent law. In 2011, the Florida state supreme court held that a driver’s license cannot be suspended due to refusal to submit to sobriety testing as long as the DUI arrest was unlawful.
Penalties For Refusing Sobriety Testing
If a police officer has reasonable probable cause to stop your vehicle, the penalty for refusing a sobriety test is mandatory license suspension. If you already have a prior license suspension for refusing sobriety testing, a second refusal can result in misdemeanor charges in addition to a second suspension of your license.
In a first offense DUI situation, refusal to take a sobriety test could result in a one year suspension of your driver’s license. Second and third offenses will result in longer license suspensions. Additionally, you could face other consequences such as jail time for repeated refusal of sobriety testing.
Should You Refuse Sobriety Testing?
Many people ask their Orlando DUI attorney if they should refuse a breath test and take the mandatory license suspension, or agree to the breath test and provide evidence against themselves if their blood alcohol levels turn out to be above the legal limit. This can be a challenging situation. However, in most cases, it’s not helpful or beneficial to refuse a breath test when arrested for DUI, even though the consequences of refusing this test are usually milder than the consequences of a DUI conviction.
What Are The Consequences Of Refusing Sobriety Testing?
If you are convicted of DUI in Florida, you will find yourself facing fines, jail time, and/or an ignition interlock installed on your vehicle.
If you meet certain criteria for a first offense DUI arrest, you may qualify for the Florida diversion program, which will give you a much lighter sentence than you would receive for refusing sobriety testing. In fact, refusing sobriety testing would render yourself ineligible for the diversion program. Instead of jail time, the diversion program usually results in community service and attendance at DUI programs, but at the end of the program, you can potentially have your DUI charges dropped and your record expunged.
If you submitted to sobriety testing, your Orlando DUI attorney may be able to assist you in obtaining a temporary driver’s license to use while your DUI charges are pending, or potentially reduce your charges to a reckless driving charge, which will have far fewer punitive consequences.
It’s important to realize that refusing a sobriety test doesn’t mean you can’t be convicted of DUI. Even without a known blood alcohol limit, you can still be convicted of driving under the influence if you were driving erratically. Frequently, the state prosecutor may see your refusal of the sobriety test as proof that you knew you were guilty of DUI.
Experienced DUI Representation In Orlando
At Criminal Defense Clinics, we combine our extensive experience with our courtroom skills to give you the best possible defense. The sooner we become involved in your case, the more likely you’ll have a positive outcome. Schedule your free consultation today!
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