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DUI: Understanding Implied Consent

If you have been subjected to a breath or urine test during a Driving Under the Influence investigation, you may have questions and concerns as to whether or not the request for breath or urine was proper, or you may be confused about whether or not the law enforcement officer actually had your consent to perform a breath or urine test. Florida’s Implied Consent Statute provides clarification on this issue by outlining the legal parameters under which a driver might be subjected to such a test.

Florida Statute 316.1932(1)(a) states that “Any person who accepts the privilege extended by the laws of his state of operating a motor vehicle within this state is, by so operating such a vehicle, deemed to have given his or her consent to submit to an approved chemical test or physical test including, but not limited to, an infrared light test of his or her breath for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his or her blood or breath (or urine if the purpose of the test is to determine the presence of chemical or controlled substances) if the person is lawfully arrested for any offense allegedly committed while the person was driving or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages (or chemical or controlled substances).”

This means that if a law enforcement officer has reasonable suspicion to believe that you were driving under the influence in Florida, your consent to a breathalyzer or urine test is implied (or assumed) if it is subsequent to a lawful arrest and requested by a law enforcement officer. A urine test must also be incidental to a lawful arrest, and must be given at a detention facility or other designated facility which is equipped to administer such tests. A person undergoing a breath or urine test should be told that “A refusal to submit to a lawful breath or urine test will result in a suspension of driving privileges for one year, or 18 months if their license has been suspended on a previous occasion due to a prior refusal to submit to a breath or urine test.”

If you were given a breath or urine test during a DUI investigation, there is a chance that the officer made a mistake in the way he read, or didn’t read implied consent. It is important that you find a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A competent criminal defense lawyer may be able to suppress the breath results or urine results obtained from the test, rendering them inadmissible in court and greatly increasing your odds of avoiding a DUI conviction.

In addition to DUI and other criminal defense issues, our firm also takes on cases involving divorce, custody battles, relocations, domestic violence injunctions, will and probate, personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases. While our main office is in Gainesville, we also handle family law and criminal defense matters through our satellite offices in Ocala, Chiefland, Lake City, and Palatka, and we accept probate cases statewide on a case-by-case basis.

For help with your legal issue, contact the Law Offices of Stephen K. Miller for a free phone consultation at (866) 496-8752 or via email at Info@ForYourLaw.com

BY: Monica Perez-McMillen, Attorney at Law
June 20, 2012
 
 
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