Can You Refuse a Field Sobriety Test in Florida?

When you get behind the wheel of your car you are taking a chance that you will be pulled over by a police officer. If you decide to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI), you are increasing the chances that you will be stopped by a police officer on the roads of Florida. Law enforcement officers are trained to look for the signals of suspected drunk driving. If you exhibit any of these signals or break any other laws, you can be pulled over by an officer. Today, we will answer the question of whether or not you can refuse a field sobriety test in Florida. The short answer is yes, you can refuse, but it will come with consequences.

breathalyzer testThe Law in Florida

Under the law in Florida, you are required to submit to a urine test, breath test, or blood test if you are placed under arrest for a DUI. Florida operates using an implied consent law. This law means that if you happen to be arrested for suspicion of DUI due to probable cause, you are giving consent to submitting to urine, blood, or another chemical test to determine the blood alcohol content level (BAC). The law also allows for you to be administered more than one test. So, if the arresting officer first requests you to take a breath test, you cannot decline an additional test request without facing penalties.

What the Officer Should Tell You

When placed under arrest for suspicion of DUI, the arresting officer should inform you of the following:

  • Your driver’s license can be suspended if you refuse the field sobriety test
  • Your refusal of the field sobriety test can be used against you in a court of law
  • If your license has been suspended previously for sobriety test refusal, this will result in a misdemeanor charge and another license suspension

Penalties for Refusing to Take a Field Sobriety Test

The penalties for refusing to take a field sobriety test in Florida include the following:

  • 1st offense results in a driver’s license suspension of one year
  • 2nd offense results in a driver’s license suspension of 18 months
  • 3rd offense results in a driver’s license suspension of 18 months

Second and subsequent offenses related to refusing a field sobriety test in Florida can also result in jail time since these offenses will result in misdemeanor charges. If you refuse to take a field sobriety test you are not forced to submit to one after the refusal. At the same time, if you are discovered while unconscious, the police are permitted to administer a test. If you are not submitted to a test and wish to take one, you can request one and the police must administer the test to you.

Contact an Experienced Attorney Today

If you have been stopped for suspicion of DUI and subsequently arrested, make sure you know your rights. If you refused to take the field sobriety test, it’s important that you speak to an experienced DUI defense attorney in Florida. Call the offices of Piotrowski Law today at 305-204-5000 to schedule an appointment or complete the contact form found on the website.