Arrested for DUI? Refusal to submit a sample of breath, blood or urine is a criminal offense in Florida if the person’s license has been suspended in the past for refusing to submit to testing. An officer can request a driver to blow into the breath machine if a person is lawfully arrested. Unfortunately, officers will put people down as having ‘refused’ a breath test even when a person tries to blow. In the context of urine, stage fright will still be marked as a refusal.
Recently, a bill was introduced that would make a first refusal a criminal offense punishable by probation. The bill still required that a request for a breath sample be pursuant to a lawful arrest. The lawfulness of the arrest and stop can be challenged in court and at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles or DMV. (see my blog on DMV Jurisdiction)
A DUI arrest creates two cases, one in the criminal courthouse and one at the Division of Driver Licenses at the DHSMV. This is because, in addition to criminal prosecution for a DUI, a refusal will lead to an automatic suspension if no action is taken within ten (10) days of arrest. The automatic suspension for refusal to blow can be challenged.
The rules of procedure at the license hearing and in court are technical and must be followed. Several license suspensions are overturned on procedural grounds. Not knowing the law and rules applicable to DUI or license suspension hearings can lead a person to kill their case instead of winning. Everyday citizens are handed out punishments when if they only knew the objection to make, they could instead win their case. Do not navigate these two areas by yourself. Call, click or fill out the form for a free DUI consultation.