The U.S. Constitution gives you the right to protect yourself from incrimination. But, when you drive in Pennsylvania, you are implying that you give consent to submit to tests of your breath, urine, or blood to determine the alcohol content of it. Refusing to take those tests when requested results in consequences that include losing the privilege to drive. A Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney is here to protect your rights, but he will also advise you to submit to the tests.Blood Alcohol Tests and the Option of Refusing to Submit
As it is in every state in the union, when you got your driver’s license and drove on the roads in and around Pittsburgh, you gave something called "implied consent" to submit to certain tests when requested by police officers. This means that by accepting your driver’s license, you agreed to have your blood, breath, or urine tested whenever an officer requests it. You also agreed to provide your driver’s license and proof of insurance when asked to do so. However, everyone is allowed to avoid self-incrimination according to the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution. So, you can refuse to take the BAC tests, but you have to face the consequences that result.
Submitting to blood alcohol testing can give police and prosecutors actual physical evidence if you are charged with a DUI. Look at your situation and weigh the consequences of submitting and refusing.
The test that is most common is a breathalyzer test. These tests have a reputation for being unreliable. Instead of a breath test, you may be asked to provide a blood or urine sample. Usually, these are collected at a police station. There are very specific steps and procedures that must be followed in collecting these. If someone mishandles the samples at any step along the way, the test results cannot be used against you. They become void. A Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney with experience in DUI defense knows how to look for these kinds of problems in the cases they defend.Refusing a Blood Alcohol Content Test: Potential Penalties
Even though if you refuse a breathalyzer test, you can prevent prosecutors from getting their hands on physical evidence that your DUI charge was legitimate, you face serious consequences. The biggest one is that your driving privileges will be suspended. How long it is suspended depends on your criminal record. For a first time offender, it's generally for a year.
Once you get the initial notice of your suspension, you have 30 days to ask for a hearing to challenge it. An attorney can defend you at this hearing by challenging the suspension details, including the stop made by police officers and the request for a BAC test. If you have a skilled Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney with you, you can fight the consequences of refusing to take a BAC test.
Just because an officer makes a request asking for you to submit to a BAC test does not mean he had probable cause to do so. This is one way a highly trained Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney can get those results thrown out.
Remember that you are allowed to refuse to submit to chemical blood alcohol testing, but there are life-altering consequences that you must face if you do, even if your charges are ultimately dismissed. Obtaining the services of an experienced and aggressive Pittsburgh DUI defense attorney will help you retain your driving privileges and reduce additional punishments.
The attorneys at Logue Law have extensive training in all aspects of DUI defense, including chemical BAC testing procedures. They are dedicated to helping people navigate the criminal justice system and getting them the best outcome possible for their cases. Call Sean Logue and his associates at (412) 612-2210 or (412) 612-2210 today. They can be reached online here. Consultations are free. Available 24/7, they serve Pittsburgh, PA, Ohio, and West Virginia.