If you drive, you need to understand implied consent

On Behalf of | Feb 25, 2022 | DUI |

If an officer of the law pulls you over in Florida, they have a right to ask you for a breath, urine or blood test under implied consent laws. If you refuse to give a sample, then you can lose your license for a year for a first-time refusal.

Does that seem unfair? You can thank implied consent laws for the requirement.

You agreed to implied consent rules when you got your license

You may not realize it, but you agreed to implied consent laws when you accepted your driver’s license. By accepting your license, you acknowledged and accepted that you would need to provide a blood, breath or urine sample upon request if it was needed to check for the presence of controlled substances, chemicals or alcohol.

Implied consent warnings

Officers have to provide you with a warning that you could lose your license if you refuse to consent. In fact, the State of Florida has specific warnings that are applicable in cases where someone first refuses to consent to a blood, breath or urine test. So, if you first refuse a test, an officer should give you the opportunity to learn more about what will happen if you continue to refuse. Then, they’ll ask you if you still refuse.

At that point, if you do, you could lose your license for your refusal. You also accept that the refusal could be entered into court as evidence if you are criminally prosecuted.

Do officers always give warnings about your rights?

Officers only have to warn you about losing your license if you first refuse the Breathalyzer, blood or urine test. If you are stopped and voluntarily agree to take those tests, then you won’t have the implied consent warnings read to you.

You may disagree with the reason for the traffic stop or the request for your breath, blood or urine sample, but there are specific penalties for refusing to provide them. This is something to keep in mind if you are ever stopped for a traffic offense in Florida and are asked to provide those samples to see if you are impaired.