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DUI refusal penalties may get a lot tougher

Some would argue that the laws governing DUIs here in the Sunshine State are pretty tough. A conviction for DUI in Florida can land you with heavy fines, jail time and a revoked license. That's not even considering the hit that your reputation can take with your name or mug shot up on the internet for everyone to see. That strike on your character often makes people judge you without knowing you, and it can make it hard to get a job.

But if one Florida lawmaker has his way, the laws may be getting even tougher. The Senator's proposal would issue harsher penalties for drivers who refuse to take DUI tests during traffic stops. The new laws would add the following penalties for refusing a urine, blood or breath test requested by any officer:

  • For the first refused test: a fine of between $500 and $1000, four points on the offender's license, and six months of probation. 
  • For the second refused test: $1,000 in fines and a maximum of one year in jail. 
  • Once these individuals got their licenses back, they would be forced to pay for the installation and maintenance of an interlock device in their vehicle. They would then have to drive with the ignition interlock device for up to one year.

If the law is passed, it will make it even more important for accused DUI drivers to have experienced legal representation. An attorney can conduct an investigation into, among other things, the conduct of the officer and may be able to use the evidence to get the charges dropped.

Source: miami.cbslocal.com, "Lawmaker Wants Tougher Penalties For Refusing DUI Tests," February 14, 2017

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