Refusing a BAC Test

Driving in Florida, and almost any other state in the Country is a privilege, not a right. Florida law in particular states, in part, “[a]ny person who accepts the privilege extended by the laws of this state of operating a motor vehicle within this state….”

Understanding this fact is imperative; because that statement authorizes the State to regulate the roadways and the requirements that one must fulfill in order to maintain a Florida driver’s license.

Particularly, Statute § 316.1932 goes on to say; that any person who accepts the privilege extended by this state is “deemed to have given his or her consent to submit to an approved [test]… for the purpose of determining the alcohol content of his or her blood or breath.”

Given that, if you have a driver’s license, then it is unlawful to refuse an authorized blood alcohol content test.

Attorney for DUI Test Refusal in Pensacola, Florida

Most people do not know that refusing an authorized DUI test is unlawful. Unfortunately, ignorance of the law is not a valid defense in Pensacola, Florida.

If you or someone you know has been criminally charged for refusing to submit to a breath or other chemical test in Florida, contact the experienced attorneys at The Law Office of James M. Burns.

Our office has experienced litigators, negotiators, and advocators who fight to get your best possible result.  We accept cases in Escambia County and Santa Rosa County, Florida.

Call The Law Office of James M. Burns at (850) 457-6002 now to schedule a free, no obligations, consultation with Attorney James Burns.


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First Time BAC Test Refusal

Refusing a blood alcohol content (BAC) test does not always result in criminal liability. The first time that a person refuses to submit to a breathalyzer may result in administrative penalties.

Under Florida Statute § 316.1932, any driver who operates a motor vehicle on Florida roads consents to submit to an approved BAC test. Failing to submit to a BAC test requested by an officer who had sufficient probable cause to believe that a driver was under the influence could result in the following penalties:

  • First Offense –license suspension for six (6) months.
  • Second Offense – license suspension for eighteen (18) months.

Under Florida law, the requesting officer must inform the offender of the consequences of refusing to take a blood alcohol content test.


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Second-Time DUI Refusal

Florida law makes a subsequent DUI test refusal a first-degree misdemeanor. To prove that a person refused an authorized BAC test, the State must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That a police officer requested that the individual submit to a BAC test;
  • That the police officer had probable cause to believe that the individual was in under the influence of alcohol, chemicals, or a controlled substance while in physical control of a vehicle;
  • That the police officer read the individual Florida’s implied consent warning;
  • That the police officer informed the individual that it is a first-degree misdemeanor to refuse a BAC test;
  • That the individual had previously refused to submit to a BAC test; and
  • That after being told of the consequences of failing to submit to the BAC test, the individual still refused.

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Additional Resources

Florida Statute §316.193 – Visit Online Sunshine the official website of the Florida Legislature for further information on driving under the influence in Palm Beach County, Florida, including the consequences of failing to submit to a BAC the first time.

Find a Lawyer for a DUI Test Refusal in Escambia County, FL

If you or someone you know has been charged with refusing a DUI test and are now subject to prosecution, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights.

Attorney James Burns has handled multiple types of DUI defense cases, including those charged with subsequent DUI offenses, DUI test refusals, and other drunk driving related offenses.  

With our office centrally located in Pensacola, Florida, we take cases throughout Escambia County and Santa Rosa County, Florida. Our most common DUI cases come from areas like Navarre, Milton, Pace, Perdido Key, and Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

Call The Law Office of James M. Burns at (850) 457-6002 now to schedule a free consultation with our experienced DUI attorney.

This article was last updated on November 2, 2017.