Multiple Refusals

Thanks to implied consent laws, refusing to submit to a chemical DUI test can result in serious penalties. Multiple refusals, however, can enhance these consequences even further. A second or subsequent refusal may lead to a lengthier suspension and could affect your driving under the influence case. To be safe, we recommend hiring legal representation. 

Having an experienced attorney on your side can make all the difference. They can investigate your traffic stop and spot any unlawful practices made by the officer. In addition, an attorney has an abundant knowledge of how chemical DUI testing operates. A skillful DUI lawyer will utilize this information to craft a sturdy defense for your case.

DUI Attorney for Multiple Refusals in Palm Beach County, FL

Multiple refusals to law enforcement chemical testing for DUI can lead to serious consequences. You could have your license suspended for a long period and the fact that it’s your second or subsequent refusal could really hurt your DUI case. If you or someone you know has had two or more DUI refusals, then it’s time to contact an experienced attorney.

Contact Meltzer & Bell, P.A. to learn more legal options to reduce or avoid the statutory consequences. Our number is (561) 557-8686 and your first consultation is free. We have extensive experience with DUI cases in Florida, so we can guide you in the right direction.

Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents people throughout the greater Palm Beach County area including West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Boca Raton and Wellington.

Overview of Multiple Refusals in FL


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Florida Consequences for Refusing a Chemical DUI Test

Implied consent laws state any person driving on Florida’s public roads is implicitly agreeing to complying with chemical DUI testing by law enforcement. Therefore, refusing to submit to a breathalyzer, blood draw or urine analysis is seen as a traffic violation. Refusing to comply will result in the administrative suspension of your license.

The following are the suspension terms you could face if you refused DUI testing. 

  • First Refusal – 12 months with a 90-day hard suspension;

  • Second Refusal – 18 months with an 18-month hard suspension; and

  • Third or Subsequent Refusal – If you refused a breath test but your prior cases aren’t refusals, you will have a 12-month suspension and 12-month hard suspension. If you refused the test and one of your prior DUI cases involved a refusal, then you will face an 18-month suspension with an 18-month hard suspension.

A “hard suspension” is any suspension term for which you are not eligible for a hardship license. During your hard suspension, you cannot drive for any reason. Violating this could land you with criminal charges for driving while on a suspended license (DWLIS).

Most attorneys would recommend to always refuse if you’ve been drinking and driving. The penalties for driving under the influence are much more severe than a suspension. With multiple refusals, it becomes more complicated. Refusing when you have a DUI conviction will result in a shorter suspension than if you had prior refusals. However, it might still be best to refuse anyway. A suspension term is much easier to handle than incarceration and the other conditions that could happen if you’re convicted of DUI.


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Types of Refusals

Florida law defines two types of refusals that can happen during a traffic stop. These are implied, express refusals and recanted refusals. An express refusal is when a person clearly states they do not want to submit to chemical DUI testing.

Implied DUI testing is much more complicated. It can occur in any of the following circumstances:

  • Failing to respond unequivocally to the officer’s request and the officer counted your lack of response as a refusal;
  • You tell the officer you don’t want to answer the question until you have the right to speak to your attorney and they count the lack of response as a refusal; or
  • You agree to take the test, but the device produced an improper reading. The officer may still consider this to be a refusal

You may have refused the test at first, but then decided against it and complied later. This would be a recanted refusal, but can only apply if: 

  • You complied within a reasonable time after you refused;
  • The test administered at the time was accurate;
  • Testing equipment or facilities were available;
  • No substantial inconvenience or expense is put on the police for recanting; and
  • The defendant has been in custody and under supervision

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Why You Should Refuse Breathalyzer and DUI Testing

Chemical testing is not without flaws. Accidents, human error and poorly maintained equipment can all lead to a skewed result. Unfortunately, there have been documented cases of people having a false positive when submitting to DUI testing even though they were sober.

Listed below are some common issues that can occur during chemical testing.

  • Diluted samples;
  • Contaminated samples;
  • Badly maintained or calibrated equipment;
  • Detection times of other substances if using urinalysis;
  • Poor chain of command in testing center;
  • Sample was stored incorrectly;
  • You took cold medicine or a prescription before driving; or
  • The officer didn’t follow proper protocol.

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Additional Resources

MADD – Visit the official website for the Florida chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Access the site to learn more about DUI statistics in Florida, the victim impact apnel and events near you. 

Florida’s Administrative Suspension Laws – Visit the official website for administrative suspension laws to learn more about what could happen if you have multiple DUI refusals as well as the penalties for driving under the influence.


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DUI Defense Lawyer for Second Refusal in Palm Beach County, FL

If you or someone you know has been charged with multiple DUI refusals, then it’s imperative you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. The legal team at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. understands how stressful a DUI traffic stop is and the charges that come along with it. We want to offer our services to ease that worry and help you get your life back on track.

Call us now at (561) 557-8686 to learn more. We will also set up your first consultation absolutely free. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents people throughout the greater Palm Beach County area including West Palm Beach and Boca Raton.


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