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Can I refuse a breath test in Pennsylvania?

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2024 | DUI Defense

Law enforcement uses various tools to address traffic offenses and crash risks, including driving under the influence (DUI). Officers usually watch out for signs of intoxication before pulling over a vehicle. Then, they can perform a standard breath test to learn about their blood alcohol content (BAC) level.

Despite being a common practice during traffic stops, some drivers may refuse to take the test. Pennsylvania has an implied consent rule, making refusal possible, but it can lead to penalties based on the situation.

What are the penalties for refusing breath tests?

Each state has distinct laws governing breath test refusals. In Pennsylvania, the sanctions can vary according to the driver’s history, such as license suspension ranging from 12 to 18 months, charges including a reinstatement fee of up to $2,000 and recall of ignition interlock devices if equipped before the refusal.

Still, the actual consequences of refusal can depend on the court’s decision after considering other factors, including the driver’s criminal record, the events leading to the violation and the circumstances surrounding the test, whether it is mandatory because of a valid warrant.

Knowing what to do about DUI-related charges

Facing DUI-related charges, even just refusing a breath test, can be daunting and intimidating. In some cases, the consequences of the violation can be unpredictable, mainly if the incident’s details may impact the offense’s severity. The minimal penalty of losing driving privileges can significantly affect a person’s life, primarily if their livelihood depends on being able to drive. To address these concerns, seeking legal counsel can be necessary. Experienced guidance and advice can help deliberate over appropriate legal options while addressing issues that may arise.



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