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Do I have to take a breath test at a Florida DUI traffic stop?

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2023 | Criminal Defense

If an officer recently asked you or someone you know to perform a breath test at a Florida DUI traffic stop, you may wonder what your rights are regarding chemical testing.

Here is what Florida law says about submitting to breath testing as part of a suspected DUI.

Do I have to submit to breath testing at a traffic stop?

Florida is an implied consent state, which means the law assumes you gave consent to submit to chemical testing under suspicion of DUI when you got your driver’s license and drove a vehicle in Florida. Officers may present a convincing argument for submitting to testing. You do not have to perform a breath test by law. However, there are some consequences for refusal.

What are the consequences of refusing a breath test?

When you refuse to take a breath test, you may automatically receive a 1-year license suspension. If you reject a breath test on a second occasion, you can receive up to an 18-month license suspension, plus misdemeanor charges that could result in a year in jail or on probation and a $1,000 fine, regardless of whether or not the DUI charges hold. Prosecutors can also use your refusal against you in court while attempting to prove guilt.

While you do not have to submit to a breath test at a traffic stop, refusing to do so may generate its own set of consequences. Understanding your rights under Florida law is crucial to making informed decisions and mounting a proper defense moving forward.