Refusing a Breath, Urine, or Blood Alcohol Test in Florida

Posted by Fred Koberlein | Jan 19, 2016 | 1 Comment

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 When you are pulled over for DUI in Florida, you face potentially very serious charges. While you certainly have rights, it is also important to remember that exercising your rights can still carry consequences. The law in Florida operates under a concept known as “implied consent,” in which just by getting behind the wheel you grant certain permissions to police, one of which is submission to a breath alcohol test or urine alcohol test. This article provides an overview of the consequences of refusing a breath or urine alcohol test in Florida, and how implied consent works in the state.

Implied Consent in Florida

Florida law uses a legal concept known as implied consent when dealing with potential DUI cases. What this means is that if you are lawfully detained by a police officer who has cause to believe you may be under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, they can require you to submit to a test of your breath or urine, and sometimes your blood, to check for the presence of alcohol or controlled substances.  Note, controlled substances include prescription drugs.

You may even be asked to take multiple tests. For example, if an officer asks you to take a breath test and has a concern about the results, they can ask you to submit to a urine test as well. In certain situations you may be required to provide a blood sample for testing.  You are already assumed to have agreed to take these tests the moment you get into your vehicle, and refusing them carries consequences.

Refusing a Breath, Urine, or Blood Alcohol Test in Florida

The consequences of refusing a breath or urine alcohol test in Florida involve immediate suspension of your driver's license. For a first offense, this suspension is for a year. For the second and each subsequent offense, your license can be suspended for 18 months. In addition, you may face additional consequences and misdemeanor charges. This can mean jail time.

Police cannot force you to submit to the breath or urine alcohol test—you do have the right to refuse. Doing so, however, carries the above penalties. In addition, if you are unconscious, police can administer a test even without arresting you. On the other hand, if the police do not give you a test, you do have the right to request one, and the officer must administer it. Finally, an officer is required under law to inform you of the penalties for refusing the test.

Florida DUI Attorneys

If you are faced with a charge of driving under the influence in Florida, you should seek the services of a qualified DUI attorney. It can be very confusing to know whether your rights have been violated. A qualified attorney can make sure that your rights are protected every step of the way, so that you get the defense you deserve. If you find yourself in such a situation, Koberlein Law Offices are here to help. Give us a call today for a no-obligation consultation regarding your case.

About the Author

Fred Koberlein

Fred Koberlein is a trial attorney who opened Koberlein Law Offices after acquiring extensive legal experience in three legal practice areas, which are: personal injury law; criminal defense; and local government matters which require you to appear or present your matter before your local government Boards, government Councils, and government Agencies. Mr. Koberlein began trial preparation through an externship as a legal clerk with the Judges of the Third Judicial Circuit for Florida prior to his graduation from the University of Florida, College of Law.  After law school Mr. Koberlein was dedicated to becoming a trial attorney and worked with the Public Defender's Office from 2004 to 2007, where he was promoted to handling felony cases within eight months of hire.  Mr.  Koberlein has handled over 1500 criminal cases ranging from possession of cannabis, DUI, serious felonies, white-collar crimes, violations of probation hearings, and countless motion hearings. Mr.  Koberlein began practicing in the areas of personal injury and insurance defense during 2006.  Mr. Koberlein's experience in prosecuting personal injury claims against those insurance companies he was not representing and defending other insurance companies and their customers provided a unique experience where he was able to learn what each side anticipates from the opposing party.Next, Mr. Koberlein was hired by a City to defend the City's interests and three additional Cities quickly followed and retained Mr. Koberlein to protect their interests.  Currently, Mr. Koberlein represents a total of four (4) municipalities in the North Florida area.  As Mr. Koberlein focused on civil litigation he remained passionate about representing individuals charged with misdemeanor and felony crimes as well as civil litigation issues. Mr.  Koberlein has the experience and reputation to negotiate a favorable resolution in your matter, and if that is not possible, to provide the best, most zealous trial representation available.  Utilizing competent and trusted investigators and experts, your case will be prepared so that the best result will be achieved.  If you or a loved one is hurt, damaged, or is facing criminal charges, you want a qualified, hard-working attorney who will explain your options to you in a straightforward, commonsense, and honest manner. Education and Practice Experience: University of Florida; Gainesville, Florida; Bachelor of Science, 1997 University of South Florida; Tampa, Florida; 1998 University of Florida, College of Law; Gainesville, Florida; 2003 Bar and Court Admissions: Florida Bar, 2004 – Present All 67 Counties in Florida All 20 Circuits in Florida U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida Professional and Civic Activities: Florida Bar Trial Lawyers, 2007 – Present Florida Bar Business Law Section, 2007 – Present Florida Bar Criminal Law Section, 2004 – Present Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2004 – Present Third Judicial Bar Association, 2004 – Present Mr.  Koberlein is committed to his clients and devotes himself to protecting their interests from the beginning to the end of their case.  Mr. Koberlein has spent his career helping clients defend themselves against criminal charges, fight insurance companies, and proceed through the bureaucratic process of local governments.  Mr. Koberlein welcomes the opportunity to meet with you and evaluate your legal needs and provide you with an experienced and competent analysis.


Vickie Gatlin Reply

Posted Jul 04, 2017 at 17:21:52

Has your firm ever fought a 1 year suspension for refusing to submit to a urine test ?
The DUI charge was dropped, however the 1 year suspension remains so far.

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