Administrative Suspensions in Blood Cases
What happens after a person arrested for a DUI involving a blood test receives notice of an administrative suspension? Act quickly because after you receive the notice, you only have ten (10) days to demand a formal reviewing hearing to contest the administrative suspension.
The arresting officer is trained to submit the following items in a blood case:
- The Citation
- The Refusal Affidavit – HSMV Form #78054
- Blood Alcohol Analyses Affidavit – FDLE Form #15
- Officer’s Probable Cause Affidavit
- Post-Dated Suspension Order – (Unless the correct citation was issued and personally served to the driver by the officer)
After you receive the notice, you should retain an attorney to demand a formal review hearing at the Bureau of Administrative Reviews office in Tampa, FL.
Attorney for Administrative Suspensions After a DUI Blood Test
The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm represent clients charged with DUI in the greater Tampa Bay area. We are experienced with the DUI blood test case that comes after a legal or medical blood draw.
Contact us to learn more about Florida statutes that deal with Implied Consent. We can also explain the differences between the requirements for a voluntary and mandatory blood draw.
We represent clients in DUI cases involving property damage, non-serious injury, serious bodily injury, or death.
Call 813-250-0500 to discuss your case.
Section 316.1932 Prerequisites at a Medical Facility
Under Section 316.1932, the law requires two prerequisites. First, the driver must go to a medical facility for treatment and not be able to take a breath test or a breath test because it is impractical. If the driver is not injured – he does not satisfy this requirement. An ambulance is considered an emergency facility. A patrol car is not.
Second, a breath test would not be practical if someone has the roof of their mouth missing, a tracheotomy or any impairment that would allow air to escape from their nose or mouth while attempting to take a breath test.
Section 316.1933 – Prerequisites for Death or Serious Bodily Injury
Under Section 316.1933, if blood is taken without consent, the following evidence must show:
- Probable cause to believe the person is under the influence.
- A crash involving serious bodily injury or death to any person (including the driver).
- Under Florida law, “serious bodily injury” is defined as the “loss of an organ or body part, major injury to an organ, injury to the eyes, internal injuries, loss of a limb, a concussion.”
- The driver does not have the right to refuse the test (with the officer acting under exigent circumstances or with a valid search warrant to seize the blood).
- Officer may use reasonable force.
- Does not require a lawful arrest.
In State of Florida v. Banoub, 22 Fla. L. Weekly D2104 (Fla. 2nd DCA), the court concluded that a delay of approximately (4) hours between the driving and the testing was not unreasonable. The court found support for this conclusion after considering the manner in which the body metabolizes alcohol.
Administrative Suspensions for Blood Test Refusals
The requirements for a blood test refusal under 316.1932(1)(C) include the following pre-conditions:
- the driver appears at a medical facility;
- the breath test is impractical/impossible;
- the officer has reasonable cause to believe that the person was in actual physical control or driving—cues of DUI;
- reasonable cause is a lower threshold (not the same as probable cause);
- suspicion might include clue of impairment, the odor of alcohol, or open containers in the vehicle;
- the blood must be taken in a medical facility that might include an ambulance;
- THE DRIVER MUST BE AWAKE AND COHERENT TO REFUSE A BLOOD TEST UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES;
- The hearing officer must determine this in the formal review;
- The driver may refuse test;
- Must be under lawful arrest; and
- The officer may not use reasonable force.
This article was last updated on Monday, July 12, 2019.