DUI Suspects Have a Right to an Independent Blood Test in Florida

If a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office officer pulls a driver over and suspects that the driver is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (commonly referred to as DUI or DWI), the officer will ask the driver to submit to a state administered blood or breath alcohol test to measure the concentration of alcohol in the driver’s system. For suspects who do not trust the state administered blood or breath test or who otherwise would like an independent test, Florida law provides that a driver has a right to have such an independent test performed by a hospital, nurse, doctor or laboratory of his/her choosing.

However, keep in mind that the Jacksonville police officer who is investigating a driver for the crime of DUI does not have to, and likely will not, inform the driver that he/she has a right to an independent test. It is up to the driver to clearly and unequivocally make the request for the independent blood test and pay for it. The police officer does, however, have to allow a suspect the opportunity to make the arrangements for the test by providing telephone access. It is unclear whether the police officer has to provide transportation, however, the police officer may not interfere with the suspect’s ability to take the test and that may require transportation.

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