Fort Myers, FL – All drivers in Florida are required by law to take a chemical test when asked by law enforcement after an arrest. This is printed on all driver’s licenses in the state, and it is known as the implied consent law. A driver who has been charged should consult with their attorney to see how this law may be applied in their case or affect the outcome.
The implied consent law and driving privileges
The state’s implied consent law says that a person has agreed to a test for the presence of alcohol or drugs in their body by a police officer in exchange for driving privileges. The main reason that this law exists is so that the state can prosecute people who refuse a breath, blood, or urine test even if they do not have the chemical test results to prove that the person was intoxicated. The implied consent law also makes a prosecutor’s job easier, as once the test has been collected, there is less room for a defense if the results clearly show that the person was impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Because this law is stated on the person’s driver’s license, the suspect will have their driver’s license suspended immediately after refusing. Aside from the administrative suspension for a refusal, the criminal case for a DUI refusal has most of the same penalties as a standard DUI case where a chemical sample was collected.
Reasons for a DUI refusal
There are many reasons why a suspect would refuse a chemical test during a DUI investigation. In Florida, a suspect is already under arrest when they are brought to a police station to take the test. This means that regardless of the results, the suspect is not released or set free. In a general sense, the state only conducts the test to provide additional evidence, while probable cause for the arrest is based on what the officer has already observed while at the scene.
For these reasons, many defense attorneys have advised their clients to refuse a test if they know they have been drinking or using drugs, as in some situations taking the test will only make it easier for the state to prove the charges with concrete chemical evidence of impairment. In some cases, it may be better for the suspect to simply take the refusal charges.
Retaining a local lawyer for help with criminal charges
Michael Raheb is a trusted attorney who defends local clients against the state’s DUI charges in the Fort Myers area. After being arrested, it is crucial for defendants to get legal advice and prepare a defense case as soon as possible.
Firm contact info:
2423 First Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901