J. Melanie Slaughter, P.A.
352-414-5945

Should you refuse a field sobriety test in Florida?

Most Floridians are well aware of the serious consequences associated with a DUI conviction. One Florida resident went so far as to jump into the ocean to escape from law enforcement although the police eventually apprehended him. 

In the event police officers pull you over on suspicion of drunk driving, they may ask you to perform various field sobriety tests to determine if you drank alcohol that evening. Many people do not realize they can actually refuse such tests. There may be circumstances where refusing can actually work against you, but it is an option to consider. 

Possibility of losing your driver's license

If convicted of a DUI, then you can expect the state to suspend your license for a while. However, the DMV may suspend your license right off the bat if you refuse a police officer's request to submit to a field test. This is due to the fact Florida has implied consent laws. These laws state that all drivers inherently submit to drunk driving tests if asked by law enforcement. 

However, implied consent laws only go into effect when the police officer has informed you of the laws and has placed you under arrest. Once a cop has arrested you, you must submit to tests or lose your license. A police officer may be able to put you under arrest right away if he or she saw you swerving while driving or smells alcohol potently on your breath. 

Taking the test

In the event you do not want to refuse, there is still the potential to prepare a valid defense even if the field sobriety test suggests you are under the influence. A breath test device may reveal you have a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit, but there are circumstances where these test results are not valid. The best thing to do after an arrest is to consult with an attorney to start preparing your case. 

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J. Melanie Slaughter, P.A.
2337 E. Silver Springs Blvd.
Ocala, FL 34470

Phone: 352-414-5945
Phone: 352-414-5945
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