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Senator Seeks Stronger Penalties For Refusing DUI Tests

David Baldo
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Ignition interlock devices would be required for individuals who repeatedly refuse tests for driving under the influence under a Senate proposal strengthening penalties for those who decline the tests.

The measure (SB 918) was filed Monday by Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs. Under Simmons' bill, which does not have a House counterpart, a motorist who refuses to submit to a breath, urine or blood test when asked to do so by a law enforcement officer would be fined between $500 and $1,000, and have four points assessed against their license. The motorist would also be put on probation for six months.

Individuals who again refuse a test, after having previously had their license suspended for refusing a test, would continue to be charged with a first degree misdemeanor, which brings a penalty that could include up to a year in jail and $1,000 in fines. But the motoris now would be required to pay for mandatory interlock devices to be installed on all their vehicles, including those jointly leased or owned, for up to one year upon qualifying for a permanent or restricted license.