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The post below was published on Friday, October 15th, 2010 at 1:45 PM.

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Fourth District: Confusion Doctrine

In this case of first impression, the Fourth District considered the “confusion doctrine” — a legal rule invoked to avoid license suspensions for refusing a breath test where the licensee mistakenly believed he or she had the right to consult with counsel prior to submitting to the test. The district court recognized that Florida circuit courts and at least nine other states have recognized the doctrine in various circumstances, but in this case, where the officer did nothing to cause confusion, the court held the doctrine does not apply. The court stated that confusion could be used as a fact defense before a jury and left open whether the doctrine would apply where the officer causes the licensee’s confusion.

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