Most of us are so excited when we get our first driver’s license that we’re not paying attention to the fine print. In some cases decades may have passed between your signing of the original agreement to drive safely, obey traffic laws and blow into a breathalyzer if you’re suspected of DUI. This last stipulation is called Implied Consent. Refusing a Florida BAC test is one of the quickest ways to really test out the state’s commitment to ensuring that when you agreed to that fine print, you meant it.
You agreed to a Florida BAC test way back when you applied for your driver’s license.
Now that the breathalyzer is before you, you may think you can refuse the breath test, and technically you can. However, that refusal will cause your license to be suspended automatically for one year. You’ll also likely be arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and compelled to submit a blood, breath or urine sample while waiting in jail. After that and on top of your one-year suspension, you’ll face consequences in court that can include a misdemeanor charge for a first offense DUI and the possibility of an ignition interlock requirement.
Most states have similar implied consent laws which don’t allow refusal of a BAC test. Because of the nature of drunken people at or above the legal limit (poor judgment, aggression, diminished mental capability), the sensible thing is to have a sober agreement in place before allowing anyone the privilege to drive. That way, when they’re intoxicated behind the wheel, they really can’t argue with what their “sober self” agreed to, at least not effectively enough to get around the law.
Instead of refusing a Florida BAC test, the best way to get out of a DUI is to just not drive if you’ve been drinking and find another way to get a safe ride home.