Penalties for drivers who refuse to take breath-alcohol tests would be increased under a bill filed Thursday by a House Republican.
People who refuse to take the tests currently can have their driver’s licenses suspended for a year. They can face 18-month suspensions if they have previously had their licenses suspended or have been fined for previous refusals.
The bill (HB 197), filed Thursday by Rep. Traci Koster, R-Tampa, would add to those penalties. It would include a requirement that people who refuse breath tests the first time would face mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices in their vehicles for a year.
The devices would be installed for 18 months for drivers with previous refusals.
The devices require drivers to blow into them and will not allow vehicle engines to start if alcohol is detected. Under the bill, filed for the legislative session that will start March 7, drivers would have to pay for the installation of the devices.
A significant amount (most) defense attorneys instruct their clients or potential clients not to blow whenever they get pulled over for suspected DUI. The burden of proof falls on the courts.
Publisher Javier Manjarres contributed to this News Service of Florida article.