Palm Beach County is one of the Sunshine State’s most rapidly-expanding areas. Development is on the rise as more people seek to live near South Florida’s pristine beaches and experience its diverse culture. Due to the spread-out nature of residential and commercial zones, most people who live and work in Palm Beach County rely on a car to get around.
Unfortunately, owning a car and being licensed to drive are privileges that can be stripped away at any moment, especially if the DMV finds out you were arrested for DUI. When you need to fight for your license after a DUI arrest, you should consider contacting a knowledgeable defense lawyer who can help you resolve the administrative and criminal issues that will follow your arrest.
What are the Penalties for Refusing to Take a Breath Test?
Most people who are stopped under suspicion of DUI don’t appreciate needing to give police evidence that could work against them in court. However, due to the state’s implied consent law, defined in Section 316.1932 of the Florida Statutes, any individual who accepts the privilege of driving in the state has given his or her consent to submit to lawful requests for urine, breath, and blood samples to determine his or her BAC.
So, when you applied and signed for your driver’s license, you gave the state consent to test you to find out what your blood alcohol concentration is in a DUI investigation. When you refuse to take any of these tests after a stop, you can face additional administrative penalties.
What Can I Expect if This is My First DUI in West Palm Beach?
If you’re a first-time DUI offender, you can face up to two license suspensions. If you refuse a DUI test like a breath test, the DMV will suspend your driver’s license for one year. If you’re ultimately convicted of DUI, the court may impose an additional sentence that would begin after the DMV’s suspension expires.
Refusing a breath test can also be a financial burden. The DMV charges fees for reinstating licenses and applying for a hardship license. You may also be required to pay for a DUI course out-of-pocket, and the fine associated with your citation for a first-time misdemeanor DUI can range from $500 to $1,000.
Also, refusing to take a breath, urine, or blood test can be used against you in court. While you might think that not giving the state a BAC to judge your level of intoxication could help your case, this might backfire because the state can assume your refusal shows “consciousness of guilt.”
What Happens to My Driver’s License After a DUI Arrest?
If the investigating officer who conducts the traffic stop believes you’re impaired, he or she will confiscate your driver’s license and hand you a citation for DUI. This piece of paper doubles as your temporary driving permit. You have just 10 days after your DUI arrest to request a formal review hearing, where you can appeal to the court to reinstate your license.
You can also choose to waive the formal review hearing and apply for a business purpose only license. If you do choose to proceed with the hearing, having an attorney represent you can help you win a successful outcome. If you’re successful in the hearing, the DMV may reinstate your license, and you regain full driving abilities. If you lose the hearing, you become ineligible for any driving privilege, including a business purpose only license.
How Can I Regain My Driving Privileges After a DUI in West Palm Beach?
Talk to a DUI attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. Brian P. Gabriel of The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel has helped people in situations like yours for more than 30 years. He can guide and educate you on the entire DMV and judicial process, so you can put up a fight like no other to protect your driving privilege and reputation.
We understand how difficult it is to get around without a license, and it may even threaten your employment. Brian Gabriel’s goal is to help you achieve the best possible outcome. Call 561-622-5575 or complete a contact form for a free consultation.