Tampa Republican wants stiffer penalties for refusing a breathalyzer

People who refuse to take the tests currently can have their driver’s licenses suspended for a year.

click to enlarge Tampa Republican wants stiffer penalties for refusing a breathalyzer
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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 a first time would face mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices in their vehicles for a year.

For drivers with previous refusals, the devices would be installed for 18 months. 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 installation of the devices.

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