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Florida’s Little Known Right to Independent DUI Testing (And How to Get Your Breath Test Thrown Out)




Understanding Florida’s Right to Independent DUI Testing

Florida’s little-known right to independent DUI testing can be a game-changer for those facing DUI charges. According to Florida Statute Section 316.1932(1)(f)(3), individuals who submit to a chemical test at the request of law enforcement have the right to request an independent blood test. This right is crucial for verifying the accuracy of the initial test and can potentially get your breath test thrown out if discrepancies are found.

What the Law States

Florida law allows individuals to have an independent test conducted by a physician or any other qualified person of their choosing. This test must be paid for by the individual and should be conducted in addition to the test administered by law enforcement. The officer must not interfere with the person’s opportunity to obtain this test and must provide timely telephone access to arrange it.

Although the request for an independent blood test is relatively rare, it is a powerful tool. The burden is on the person to arrange and secure the test at their own expense. If the driver makes such a request and the officer interferes with the independent test, then the officer’s test results may be suppressed, potentially weakening the prosecution’s case against you.

What is Florida’s right to independent DUI testing? Florida’s right to independent DUI testing allows individuals who have submitted to a chemical test at the request of law enforcement to request an independent blood test at their own expense.

Under Florida Statute Section 316.1932(1)(f)(3), a person is entitled to obtain an independent DUI blood test by a qualified person of their choosing under specific conditions:

  • Expense: The person must pay for the independent test at their own expense.
  • Qualified Personnel: The test must be administered by a qualified person, including a physician, registered nurse, or other personnel authorized by a hospital to draw blood, or a duly licensed clinical laboratory director, supervisor, technologist, or technician.
  • Initial Compliance: The right to an independent test only applies if the person has submitted to the test requested at the direction of the law enforcement officer.

The statute also provides that the failure or inability to obtain an independent test does not preclude the admissibility in evidence of the test taken at the direction of the law enforcement officer, but only if the officer did not interfere with the person’s opportunity to obtain the independent test.

For more information on how to leverage this right effectively, you can explore our guide on winning a blood test DUI in Florida or learn about the importance of chain of custody in DUI blood tests.


Steps to Request an Independent DUI Blood Test

Florida's Little Known Right to Independent DUI Testing (And How to Get Your Breath Test Thrown Out)

Requesting an independent DUI blood test involves several steps that must be followed meticulously to ensure the test’s validity. Understanding these steps can help you make an informed decision and protect your rights.

How to Make the Request

To request an independent blood test, you must first comply with the test requested by the law enforcement officer. After this, you can request the independent test. The officer is required to assist you by providing timely telephone access to arrange the test but is not obligated to transport you to the testing facility. It is your responsibility to arrange and secure the test at your own expense.

Key Steps in Requesting an Independent DUI Blood Test

  1. Comply with the Initial Test: First and foremost, you must submit to the chemical test requested by the law enforcement officer. This is crucial as your right to an independent test is contingent upon your compliance with the officer’s request.
  2. Make the Request Promptly: As soon as you have complied with the initial test, inform the officer that you wish to have an independent blood test. Be clear and assertive in your request to avoid any misunderstandings.
  3. Arrange for the Test: Utilize the telephone access provided by the officer to contact a qualified medical professional or laboratory to conduct the independent test. Remember, the officer is not required to transport you but must not interfere with your efforts to arrange the test.
  4. Document Everything: Keep detailed records of your request, including the time and date, the officer’s response, and the steps you took to arrange the test. This documentation can be crucial if there are any disputes later on.
  5. Follow Up Promptly: Ensure that the independent test is conducted as soon as possible. Delays can affect the accuracy of the test results and may impact their admissibility in court.

What are the steps to request an independent DUI blood test? To request an independent DUI blood test, you must first comply with the initial test, promptly make your request, arrange for the test, document everything, and follow up promptly.

Choosing a Qualified Professional

Choosing the right professional to conduct your independent DUI blood test is crucial. Under Florida Statute Section 316.1932(1)(f)(3), the test must be administered by a qualified person, such as:

  • Physicians
  • Registered Nurses
  • Licensed Clinical Laboratory Directors
  • Supervisors, Technologists, or Technicians

Ensuring that the individual conducting the test is qualified is essential for the test’s admissibility in court. If the test is conducted by someone who does not meet the statutory requirements, the results may be deemed inadmissible.

For more insights into the intricacies of DUI blood tests, you can explore our comprehensive guide to DUI blood tests in Florida.

Potential Challenges and How to Overcome Them

While the right to an independent DUI blood test is a powerful tool, it is not without its challenges. Here are some common issues and how to address them:

  • Officer Interference: If the officer interferes with your ability to obtain the independent test, document the interference and consult with your attorney. The officer’s test results may be suppressed if they hinder your efforts.
  • Timely Access: Ensure that you are provided with timely telephone access. If the officer fails to provide this, it could be grounds for challenging the admissibility of the initial test results.
  • Cost: The independent test must be paid for out of pocket. While this can be a financial burden, the potential benefits of a second test can far outweigh the costs.

Understanding these challenges and how to navigate them can significantly impact the outcome of your case. For more detailed strategies, consider our article on top errors that could invalidate your DUI blood test.

Navigating the complexities of DUI laws and your rights can be overwhelming. Having the right legal support is crucial. At Leppard Law, we specialize in DUI defense and can help you understand and exercise your right to an independent DUI blood test effectively.

For more information on DUI defense strategies, you can visit our guide on how to beat your DUI case or learn about the legality of DUI traffic stops.

Requirements for Independent DUI Blood Testing

Florida Statute Section 316.1932(1)(f)(3) outlines specific requirements for independent DUI blood testing. Understanding these requirements is essential for ensuring that your independent test is admissible in court.

Conditions to Meet

To be valid, the independent blood test must be conducted by a qualified person, such as a physician, registered nurse, or licensed laboratory technician. You must pay for the test out of pocket, and it must be done in addition to the initial test administered by law enforcement. Failure to meet these conditions can result in the test being deemed inadmissible.

What are the requirements for an independent DUI blood test? Under Florida Statute Section 316.1932(1)(f)(3), the independent blood test must be conducted by a qualified person, paid for by the individual, and done in addition to the initial test requested by law enforcement.

Qualified Personnel

To ensure the independent DUI blood test is admissible, it must be conducted by a qualified person. This includes:

  • Physicians: Medical doctors licensed to practice.
  • Registered Nurses: Nurses who are registered and licensed.
  • Licensed Laboratory Technicians: Technicians authorized by a hospital or clinical laboratory to draw blood.
  • Clinical Laboratory Directors: Individuals who oversee laboratory operations.

Ensuring that the individual conducting the test is qualified is crucial for the test’s admissibility in court. For more details on the professionals involved, visit our guide on blood alcohol analyst permits.

Payment and Timing

The cost of the independent DUI blood test must be borne by the individual requesting it. Although this can be an additional expense, it is a critical step in verifying the accuracy of the initial test. The test should be conducted promptly to ensure its validity.

Delays can affect the accuracy of the test results and may impact their admissibility in court. For more information on how timing affects DUI tests, check out our article on DUI blood test accuracy.

Non-Interference by Law Enforcement

Florida law mandates that law enforcement officers must not interfere with your right to obtain an independent DUI blood test. They are required to provide you with timely telephone access to arrange the test but are not obligated to transport you to the testing facility.

What if law enforcement interferes with my independent DUI blood test? If an officer interferes with your independent test, the initial test results may be suppressed, potentially weakening the prosecution’s case against you.

For more on how law enforcement’s actions can impact your case, explore our guide on errors that could invalidate your DUI blood test.

Florida case law supports the right to an independent test, provided the individual complies with the initial test requested by law enforcement. Courts have ruled that law enforcement must render reasonable assistance in helping individuals obtain an independent test. Failure to do so can result in the suppression of the initial test results, thereby strengthening your defense.

For instance, in Unruh v. State, 669 So.2d 242 (Fla. 1996), the court ruled that law enforcement has an affirmative duty to assist a defendant in custody in obtaining an independent blood test when requested. Similarly, in State v. Miceli, 8 Fla. L. Weekly Supp 393 (Fla. Monroe Cty. Ct. 2001), the court found that merely providing the defendant with a telephone that only allows collect calls is not timely telephone access.

Understanding these legal precedents can significantly impact the outcome of your case. For more detailed strategies, consider our article on how to beat your DUI case.

Standard Operating Procedures

The Florida Highway Patrol has specific standard operating procedures for independent blood tests, found in POLICY 17.06 – 13B.1.c-d. These procedures outline the responsibilities of law enforcement officers in assisting DUI suspects with obtaining independent tests.

  • Compliance First: A DUI suspect must first comply with the required chemical/physical test before requesting an independent test.
  • Non-Interference: Officers must not interfere with the suspect’s opportunity to obtain the independent test and must provide timely telephone access to secure the test.
  • Burden on Suspect: The burden is on the suspect to arrange and secure the test at their own expense.

For additional insights into the procedures and their implications, you can read our guide on the chain of custody in DUI blood tests.

What If a Suspect Requests Testing?

After a DUI arrest, a suspect can request a chemical or physical breath test if the officer does not. If a suspect does request such an independent test, the arresting officer “shall have the test performed” as required by Section 316.1932(1)(d), Florida Statute.

Understanding these requirements and ensuring they are met can significantly impact the outcome of your DUI case. For more detailed information on handling DUI cases, explore our comprehensive DUI guide.


Understanding the legal implications of independent DUI testing can significantly impact the outcome of your case. If the officer interferes with your right to an independent test, the initial test results may be suppressed, potentially weakening the prosecution’s case against you.

Case Law and Precedents

Florida case law supports the right to an independent test, provided the individual complies with the initial test requested by law enforcement. Courts have ruled that law enforcement must render reasonable assistance in helping individuals obtain an independent test. Failure to do so can result in the suppression of the initial test results, thereby strengthening your defense.

What does Florida case law say about independent DUI testing? Florida case law mandates that law enforcement officers must assist individuals in obtaining an independent blood test if requested. Failure to provide reasonable assistance can lead to suppression of the initial test results.

One key case is Unruh v. State, 669 So.2d 242 (Fla. 1996), where the court ruled that law enforcement has an affirmative duty to assist a defendant in custody in obtaining an independent blood test when requested. This ruling underscores the importance of law enforcement’s role in facilitating these tests.

In another case, State v. Miceli, 8 Fla. L. Weekly Supp 393 (Fla. Monroe Cty. Ct. 2001), the court found that providing a defendant with a telephone that only allows collect calls is not considered timely telephone access. This decision highlights the necessity for law enforcement to provide reasonable means for the defendant to arrange the test.

However, not all requests for independent tests are straightforward. In Smallridge v. State, 904 So.2d 610 (Fla. 1st DCA 2005), the court ruled that the defendant was not denied the right to obtain an independent blood test where the officer did not provide uninterrupted telephone access with his father, as the defendant never actually requested or expressed any interest in obtaining an independent test. This case emphasizes that the defendant must clearly request the test for the right to be upheld.

Law Enforcement’s Role

Law enforcement officers are required to follow specific protocols to ensure that a defendant’s right to an independent DUI blood test is upheld. According to Florida Statute Section 316.1932(1)(f)(3), officers must:

  • Provide Timely Telephone Access: Officers must offer timely telephone access to the suspect to arrange for an independent test.
  • Non-Interference: Officers must not interfere with the suspect’s opportunity to obtain the test.
  • Reasonable Assistance: Officers must render reasonable assistance in helping individuals obtain the test.

Failure to adhere to these protocols can have serious legal implications. For example, if an officer interferes with the independent test, the initial test results may be suppressed, which can weaken the prosecution’s case significantly.

For more detailed information on how law enforcement’s actions can impact your case, explore our article on errors that could invalidate your DUI blood test.

Suppression of Initial Test Results

When an officer fails to comply with the requirements for facilitating an independent DUI blood test, the initial test results may be suppressed. This means that the results of the test administered by law enforcement may not be admissible in court, which can significantly weaken the prosecution’s case against you.

What happens if the officer interferes with my independent DUI blood test? If an officer interferes with your independent test, the initial test results may be suppressed, potentially weakening the prosecution’s case against you.

Suppression of initial test results can be a powerful tool in your defense. For instance, if the initial breath test shows a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC), but the independent test shows a lower BAC, the discrepancy can cast doubt on the accuracy of the initial test. This can be particularly impactful in cases where the initial test results are the primary evidence against you.

For more detailed strategies on how to leverage discrepancies in test results, consider our article on how to win a blood test DUI in Florida.

Standard Operating Procedures

The Florida Highway Patrol has specific standard operating procedures for independent blood tests, found in POLICY 17.06 – 13B.1.c-d. These procedures outline the responsibilities of law enforcement officers in assisting DUI suspects with obtaining independent tests.

  • Compliance First: A DUI suspect must first comply with the required chemical/physical test before requesting an independent test.
  • Non-Interference: Officers must not interfere with the suspect’s opportunity to obtain the independent test and must provide timely telephone access to secure the test.
  • Burden on Suspect: The burden is on the suspect to arrange and secure the test at their own expense.

For additional insights into the procedures and their implications, you can read our guide on the chain of custody in DUI blood tests.

Practical Implications for Defendants

Understanding your right to an independent DUI blood test and the legal implications of law enforcement’s actions can be crucial for your defense. If you believe your rights were violated during the DUI testing process, it is essential to consult with an experienced DUI attorney who can help you navigate the complexities of your case.

For more information on how to protect your rights and build a strong defense, explore our comprehensive DUI guide.

Florida's Little Known Right to Independent DUI Testing (And How to Get Your Breath Test Thrown Out)


Infographic depicting the words Florida's Little Known Right to Independent DUI Testing (And How to Get Your Breath Test Thrown Out)


What is Florida’s right to independent DUI testing?

Florida’s right to independent DUI testing allows individuals who have submitted to a law enforcement chemical test to request an independent blood test. This right, as outlined in Florida Statute Section 316.1932(1)(f)(3), helps verify the accuracy of the initial test and can potentially lead to the suppression of the breath test results if discrepancies are found.

How do I request an independent DUI blood test in Florida?

To request an independent DUI blood test in Florida, you must first comply with the law enforcement officer’s test. Afterward, you can request the independent test. The officer is required to provide timely telephone access to arrange the test but is not obligated to transport you. It is your responsibility to secure the test at your own expense.

What are the requirements for an independent DUI blood test in Florida?

The requirements for an independent DUI blood test in Florida include: the test must be conducted by a qualified person, such as a physician or registered nurse; you must pay for the test yourself; and it must be done in addition to the initial test administered by law enforcement. Failure to meet these conditions can result in the test being deemed inadmissible.

What happens if law enforcement interferes with my independent DUI blood test?

If law enforcement interferes with your independent DUI blood test, the initial test results may be suppressed. This means that the results of the test administered by law enforcement may not be admissible in court, which can significantly weaken the prosecution’s case against you.


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At Leppard Law, we understand the complexities and stress that come with facing DUI charges. Our dedicated team of experienced attorneys is here to provide you with the personal attention and robust defense you deserve. We treat our clients like family, always putting your best interests first and fighting for the best possible outcome.

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Legally reviewed by Joe Easton and the content team, this article reflects the firm’s 60 years of combined criminal defense expertise. Joe Easton, with his extensive experience and strategic prowess in DUI and criminal defense, offers more than just legal representation; he brings a commitment to turning legal challenges into triumphs. His approach, combining tenacity in the courtroom with personalized client care, ensures your DUI case is not just defended but championed with dedication and expertise.

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