Under Pennsylvania’s implied consent law (PA § 1547), it is a crime to refuse a breathalyzer in Pennsylvania. Similarly, it is illegal to refuse a blood test to check your blood alcohol content (BAC). When you receive a Pennsylvania driver’s license, you agree to allow law enforcement to conduct this type of testing if there is a suspicion of drunk driving following a traffic stop or accident.
This means you will need to take the requested breathalyzer test or face serious consequences, including a driver’s license suspension and possible fines.
Understanding Implied Consent Law
Pennsylvania law enforcement uses breath and blood tests to confirm their suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) and to determine your BAC. The DUI laws allow for more significant penalties for those with higher BAC.
A police officer might ask you to take a breath test following a traffic stop or accident. Completing this test generally involves blowing into a handheld device on the scene, although some departments may transfer you to another area for this type of test. In PA, like other states, the legal limit is 0.08 percent BAC.
Some people believe that refusing this type of test will allow them to avoid a DUI conviction, but that is not always true. There could be several outcomes, depending on the facts of your case:
- You could face an implied consent charge.
- You could face a DUI charge based on other evidence.
- You could face both implied consent and DUI charges.
Unfortunately, the last scenario is all too common when PA drivers refuse breath testing. Depending on the outcome of your case, you could face a license suspension and fines related to the implied consent charge as well as face a suspension, fines, probation, and other penalties for the DUI under PA § Act 24.
Implied Consent Suspensions Are Often Longer Than a Drunk Driving Sentence
In the best-case scenario, you could face an implied consent charge instead of a DUI. However, whether this is a better option depends on many factors. The penalties for refusing a breath test in PA are not insignificant. In fact, they may be more severe than the penalties for a first-offense DUI.
For example, the consequences under the state’s implied consent law include a license suspension that is twice as long as a first-offense DUI and harsh fines. If your driving privileges are important to you and you need to limit the time without your car, a DUI conviction might only take away your license for six months while an implied consent conviction could mean using rideshares and cabs for a year.
McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. Can Help with Your Implied Consent Case
If you already refused a breath test in Montgomery County, PA or a nearby area, DUI defense attorney David McKenzie and the team from McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. can help. Call (610) 680-7842 as soon as possible following your stop. You have a right to request a hearing and challenge the automatic suspension of your driver’s license, but you must act quickly.
We need to request your hearing, unless you have already done so, and investigate exactly what happened so we can present a strong argument during your hearing. We can also handle your criminal court appearances for implied consent violations or DUI. Let our team fight to mitigate the effects of your refusal and help you get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.
Once you enlist our help, our attorney is available to you at any time. You can reach out to discuss any questions or concerns via:
- Social media
If you face allegations of DUI, or if you face implied consent charges after refusing a breathalyzer in Montgomery County, PA, or a nearby area, reach out today to learn how we can help.
Talk to a Pennsylvania DUI Defense Attorney About Your Case Today
Under Pennsylvania’s implied consent laws, you could face penalties including an automatic driver’s license suspension if you refuse a breathalyzer. If the police recently stopped you and requested you take a breath or blood test and you refused, there may still be something you can do to avoid getting convicted of implied consent and/or DUI charge.
At McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., our team knows how to navigate the system and present a strong case to show your innocence or pursue legal alternatives to conviction and sentencing. Implied consent and/or DUI charges do not have to disrupt your life for the next year or more. Let us review your case and go to work for you.
Knowing that it is a crime to refuse a breathalyzer in Pennsylvania, we invite you to call (610) 680-7842 today to get started.