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DUI testing requirements and rights

On Behalf of | Dec 12, 2022 | PERSONAL INJURY (PLAINTIFF) - Drunk Driving Accidents

During a traffic stop in Florida, if the officer has probable cause to believe the driver is under the influence, he or she may require DUI testing. Florida has an implied consent law that says any driver who is lawfully arrested on suspicion of DUI must consent to a chemical testing of breath, urine or blood. The purpose of the test is to determine the driver’s blood alcohol content at the time of the arrest. The same implied consent law applies in cases where the driver is suspected to be under the influence of drugs.

Consequences of refusal

There are penalties if the driver refuses DUI testing. For example, the refusal can be used as evidence against the driver in court. His or her drivers license will also automatically be suspended for one year. If the driver has previously received a license suspension due to refusal to test, a second refusal can result in an 18 month suspension and an independent misdemeanor charge.

Other Florida DUI test considerations

A law enforcement officer may require more than one BAC test of a driver who is arrested for DUI. Tests are usually required following suspected drunk driving accidents. If the first test administered is a breath test, then the officer can require a second test. Refusal of the second test under these circumstances may result in penalties. The driver also has the right to ask for a test if he or she has been arrested for DUI but has not been tested.

Control of a motor vehicle

A person does not have to actually be driving to be convicted of driving under the influence in Florida. Rather, the dispositive factor is control of the vehicle. Actual, physical control means the person is in the car and could make it move. There have been cases in which a person was sleeping in the vehicle while intoxicated and the court found enough for DUI because the person could awaken and decide to drive.