Are You Allowed to Refuse a Breathalyzer Test in Pennsylvania?

Do you own a driver’s license for the state of Pennsylvania? If you do, then you should know that you have already given your consent to submit to a chemical test of your blood. This is called implied consent, and the Commonwealth has a statute that says refusal to take a Breathalyzer test means you are going to be subjected to strict penalties.

How is implied consent related to your rights of refusing a Breathalyzer test?

Among the few documents that you sign after receiving or renewing a license, one is the Implied Consent Warning or the Form DL 26. According to the Implied Consent law in Pennsylvania, people who are arrested, as a matter of law, must take a breath, urine, or blood test if suspected of driving under the influence. So, it is implied that you have already agreed to the chemical testing for understanding the Blood Alcohol Concentration level in your body. And needless to say, that is why, if you refuse to submit to the Breathalyzer test, you will have to face the repercussions. Your driver’s license could be suspended for 1 whole year along with a reinstatement fee of $500 in case of a first-time offense. For more than a single DUI offense or if there are other conditions involved, then the license is likely to be suspended up to 18 months including thousands of reinstatement fees. Aggravated assault with DUI charges can issue stricter penalties such as imprisonment up to 10 years. And even after clearing all charges and proving yourself innocent, the license will continue to remain suspended as you had refused to appear for the chemical testing.

According to the Pennsylvania statute, it is the duty of the police offers to inform all the drivers about these repercussions of refusing the chemical tests.

Pennsylvania Sobriety Checkpoints

Every state has its own laws for regulating the use of sobriety checkpoints.

Pennsylvania sobriety checkpoints are regulated under the state as well as the federal constitutions, and that too, with an exceptional level of frequency. Unlike a majority of other states which restrict their checkpoints use only to a weekly or monthly basis, which comes up to about numerous dozen checks a year, in Pennsylvania, a several hundred checks occur annually.

In Pennsylvania, law enforcement bodies don’t need a justified suspicion to stop a particular vehicle at any checkpoint, and DUI roadblocks are very much legal in this state without infringing the constitutional rights of any citizen. One cannot avoid DUI arrests by simply taking a U-turn. There are police officers who can chase them in vehicles, follow and apprehend these drivers trying to escape the detections. And DUI checkpoints can only be unconstitutional when the roadblocks have been constructed at random locations without pre-approval or not established only for the purpose of getting hold of these intoxicated drivers.

A recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision does require approval from elected officials in regards to multiple-municipality task forces who set up sobriety checkpoints.

If you feel that you are becoming a victim of the brutality of the law enforcement bodies or your constitutional rights are being violated by the police officers, you should resort to a Pittsburgh DUI lawyer or an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Get the Right Guidance & Legal Representation for Your DUI Charges in Pennsylvania

An efficient, skilled, and dedicated criminal attorney will be able to defend your rights against the DUI charges along with challenging the legality of the Breathalyzer test outcomes. They will be able to probe further into the Breathalyzer machines and their readings to check if they are correct. They might also help you to apply for the Pennsylvania ARD program whereby you can avoid the convictions or pleading guilty. So, quickly resort to a successful Pittsburgh criminal lawyer or any other renowned attorney in Pennsylvania who can duly fight for you and guide you with a DUI arrest.