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DUI » DUI Testing » Implied Consent

Implied Consent Defined

Mandatory Submission to Breath / Blood Testing

Implied consent is a term used to describe a situation where a driver is deemed to have given consent to submit to a breath or blood test after an arrest for DUI. When a driver signs for his or her license, there is a provision that states that the driver will agree to submit to chemical testing if arrested for DUI. A refusal to submit to chemical testing may result in license suspension. Therefore, when a driver is pulled over and then arrested for suspected drunk driving, he or she is assumed to have already given consent to submit to a breath or blood test. The driver may refuse, but this may result in the administrative suspension of his or her driver's license.

If you were arrested for DUI and refused a breath test or blood test, you may be at risk of losing your license under our state's implied consent laws. It is important to review your legal options with a lawyer who can not only advise you of your rights in this matter but who can represent you at your DHSMV hearing to protect your license. You have the right to request this administrative hearing with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, but you must act within 10 days of the date of your arrest. Failing to schedule your hearing within 10 days will result in the automatic suspension of your license for a chemical test refusal.

What happens if I refuse a blood or breath test?

Implied consent laws will vary from state to state. Throughout most of the U.S., drivers are required to submit to chemical testing to determine their blood alcohol level if pulled over and arrested for suspected drunk driving. If a driver refuses, in some cases a sample may be forcibly taken or a warrant may be obtained to compel the sample. If the driver refuses and a sample is not obtained, the driver will face administrative driver's license suspension for a set period of time. Depending on the jurisdiction, the refusal may be used as evidence in criminal proceedings.

A driver may face the following penalties for refusing a breath test or blood test after a lawful DUI arrest:

  • First Refusal: 1-year license suspension
  • Second or Subsequent Refusal: 18-month license suspension

A second or subsequent refusal of a chemical test is a particularly serious matter because it may result in criminal charges. This is a first degree misdemeanor offense, meaning a driver may face imprisonment in county jail and fines if convicted. These penalties and charges may apply in addition to any criminal charges the driver faces. Although you may have been accused of refusing a breath test or blood test, this does not necessarily mean that your license will be suspended. Your DHSMV hearing is your opportunity to challenge this suspension, and with a skilled attorney to protect your interests you may have a chance of avoiding suspension altogether.

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