Should I submit to a blood test?

There is no straightforward answer to this question that can apply in all cases.  In general, if you were absolutely sure that you would pass such a test, it would likely be in your benefit to comply with law enforcement’s request for a blood test.  If you refuse, immediate penalties will be assessed on your driver’s license, regardless of whether you are found guilty of a DUI.  License suspension for an initial infraction in Florida is 6 months, and increases with each subsequent refusal to submit to a chemical BAC test.  If you are completely sober or have only had a few drinks over an extended period of time, you may be able to avoid these DMV penalties by submitting to a blood test and presenting empirical proof that you are not too intoxicated to legally drive.

If, however, you have been drinking and have any suspicion that you may be over the legal limit, you may want to consider your options.  The inconvenience of a license suspension is significant, however a DUI conviction may be even more so.  A DUI conviction will persist on your criminal record, add points to your driver’s license and potentially increase your insurance premiums, as well as carry any court-ordered penalties such as fines, treatment or jail time.  Because a blood test presents the most accurate reading of BAC available, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to argue against the results of a blood test during a DUI court proceeding.  It may then be beneficial for your future DUI defense case to refuse a blood test.

However, Florida law mandates that any individual suspected of DUI in the course of an accident that involves serious injury or death can be forcibly compelled to submit to a blood test.  If the suspect refuses a blood test, law enforcement officials must first seek a warrant to perform an invasive blood drawing procedure.  However, this refusal will be documented and can be used to demonstrate cause later on in a criminal trial.  The DMV will also automatically institute the driver’s license suspension protocols that are mandated with the refusal of any chemical test.

If a law enforcement officer asks you to submit to a blood test while you are under suspicion of DUI, take a moment to evaluate your situation and the potential fallout of both of your options.  A little common sense goes a long way in negotiating these precarious situations.

Posted in: DUI