Tampa Republican wants stiffer penalties for refusing a breathalyzer

Sunday, January 15, 2023

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.