The Myth of Refusing a Blood/Breath Test

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Pennsylvania has a law known as the implied consent law.  In simple terms, the implied consent law allows a police officer who has a reasonable belief that you are operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs to request that you submit to a breath, blood or urine test. 

If you are placed under arrest for DUI and refuse to be tested then you are in violation of the implied consent law and your license can be suspended for 12 months just for refusing. The arresting officer must inform the person arrested that their license will be suspended if they refuse the chemical test.

I often meet with clients who have been charged with a DUI and they inform me that they refused the requested breath or blood test.  That was a mistake.  Many people operate under the misconception that if you refuse a chemical test then the police do not have evidence to support a DUI conviction.

However, refusing a chemical test can result in your being convicted of DUI and places you in the highest tier of Pennsylvania’s three tier DUI law.  This tier carries the most severe penalties, which can include a minimum of 72 hours jail time, a twelve month license suspension and  fines starting at $1000.00.     

My advice is to clients is to be courteous to the officer and submit to the test – fighting the arresting officer only makes matters worse.   

This blog is for information purposes only and is not to be considered legal advice.  If you have a legal issue you should contact me or another attorney to discuss the specifics of your situation and the factual background which will directly influence the legal outcome.    

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Coming Up Next Week: “Social Host Liability”

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