If you refuse to submit to a breath test in Florida, your license will be immediately suspended for a period of 1 year (18 months if your license has been previously suspended for refusing). The moment you are arrested for DUI and refuse (or if you blow .08 or above) your driver’s license will be taken by the arresting officer and your DUI ticket will serve as your temporary (restricted) license for 10 days. You only have 10 days to fight the suspension with the Bureau of Administrative Reviews of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Under a recent change to Florida’s administrative suspension law, you can also request eligibility review during the 10-day period in order to obtain a business purpose permit immediately. By requesting eligibility review you are waiving your right to fight the administrative suspension of your driver’s license.
In addition to the administrative penalties for refusing to submit to a test, the prosecutor will attempt to use your refusal against you in criminal court in order to prove your guilt. Even though you have already consented to sobriety tests required by law by driving in the state of Florida, in order to have a valid refusal, you have to have been informed of the Florida implied consent law and given the proper warnings. Also, oftentimes officers charge people with refusal to submit to a breath test when they actually attempting to provide a sample and simply cannot do so or are asking questions and going back and forth with whether they want to provide a breath sample when the officer becomes annoyed and documents a refusal.