What Will Happen To My License When Refusing a DWI Field Sobriety Test

Will you lose your license under Florida drunk driving Law if you do not submit to field sobriety tests?

There is no requirement for you to have to take any field sobriety tests.

Therefore, there is no authority for the police to take your driver’s license if you refuse to participate in these highly subjective exercises.

This is different from the post-arrest breath, blood or urine test.

You will suffer an immediate seizure and suspension of your driver’s license if you refuse the blood, breath or urine test.

Having a driver’s license is a qualified right for you, one that can and is continuously reviewed by the state of Florida.

That means Florida can take your license away, but only with an adequate reason, and only with notice to you and an opportunity to be heard.

Now, if you do not take the field sobriety tests, and you are eventually convicted of a DUI-DWI offense, you will lose your license as a part of that proceeding.

However, that is likely months away from your stop, and might never occur if an experienced DUI-DWI attorney helps you by developing a way to win your case.

Refusing to submit to post-arrest chemical tests after being pulled over for DWI suspicion, will you lose your license?

Yes, automatically. If you refuse to take the chemical test of your blood, breath or urine, the officer will seize and suspend your license on the spot.

The suspension will last at least a year, unless you are able to get your driver’s license back at an administrative hearing, referred to as either a Formal or Informal Review.

If you refuse the blood, breath or urine tests asked of you by the police, and the police take your driver’s license, you still can get a 10 day temporary driving permit at the time the officer takes your permanent license.

Your DUI-DWI specialist can better advise you of your rights with this temporary permit.

If you take the state’s “chemical” test(s) for DUI in Florida, will keep your license?

If the results of the chemical test show a reading of .08 or higher, the officer will immediately seize and suspend your driver’s license for a period of six months, unless you are able to get your driver’s license back at an administrative hearing, referred to as either a Formal or Informal Review.

Again, you still can get a 10 day temporary driving permit at the time the officer takes your permanent license.

Your DUI-DWI specialist can better advise you of your rights with this temporary permit.

If you refuse the state’s tests while driving under the influence, can you obtain a “work” permit?

Besides the temporary permit you may get if your driver’s license is taken by the police as noted above following a test refusal, if your arrest for DUI-DWI is a first one in your lifetime, there are circumstances under which you may have a limited or restricted driver’s license reissued to you if you meet criteria such as true necessity, no other travel sources available to you, a lack of other circumstances attendant to your arrest.

One of the requirements may be for you to complete a drug and alcohol evaluation.

There are also times when you can get a special exemption and get a restricted driver’s license typically so as to continue to work.

However, such a license also typically severely restricts your ability to drive, determining where and when you can operate a vehicle.

Thus, a business purposes license, sometimes called a work permit, may help you with some of the problems you face following your DUI-DWI arrest, but is seldom the solution to all of your problems.

Your DUI-DWI specialist will be able to tell you the specifics and the procedure for getting a limited license back if possible.

Written by:
Florida defense attorney mike kessler attorney

Attorney Kessler has been practicing criminal law in Florida for 30 years. He is recognized as is a leading authority on drunk-driving defense as well as a founding member of the Saint Lucie County Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and co-author of The DUI Book: Florida Edition, the definitive resource on DUI in Florida.

To speak with Mike, call 772-466-4900 or click here for a free consultation.

This Post Has 1 Comment

  1. roger martin says:

    What are the chances or percentages of getting a license back at a administrative hearing? Is there any statistics that show results of such a hearing?

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