Consent is a big deal. When it comes to the law, the concept of implied consent can seem confusing or even scary. If consent is implied, where does it end? Thankfully, these laws have come a long way, especially in the past few years. Here’s what Floridians need to know about implied consent.
What is Implied Consent?
Florida law states that by accepting the responsibility of operating a vehicle, drivers agree to submit to a breathalyzer test or other approved test when there is probable cause during a lawful arrest. Additionally, anyone subjected to a breathalyzer test by implied consent must be informed of the penalties of doing so.
In other words, by operating a car means drivers agree to a breathalyzer test during a lawful arrest.
Can You Refuse a Breathalyzer?
Consent is implied, but drivers have the freedom to refuse a breathalyzer test as they see fit. While this is an option, the first refusal will also result in an automatic 12-month license suspension in Florida. Additional refusals result in both a longer suspension or even jail time, making the consequences of refusal potentially worse than the DUI itself.
That said, a 2011 Florida Supreme Court decision determined that implied consent is only valid in a lawful arrest. If the arrest is unlawful, the accused may fight the charges and the license suspension.
What are the Limits of Implied Consent?
The idea of being forced to submit to tests under threat of license suspension is a little scary. Whether it’s a breathalyzer, a urine test, or even a blood test, it’s critical to know where implied consent ends.
In 2016, the US Supreme Court determined that implied consent does not apply to blood tests. That means the police must present a warrant before they take the blood of someone suspected of a DUI. If they do not present a warrant or if they take blood by force, the accused should speak to an attorney immediately.
If you’re facing DUI charges, you may want to speak with an attorney. If you’d like an experienced Miami criminal defense attorney from Hubbs Law, P.A. to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (305) 570-4802.