When you’re stopped for drunk driving, the police might ask you to take a breathalyzer test. At that point, a lot of people don’t know what to do. Can you refuse a breathalyzer test in Pennsylvania? Does it help to refuse to take the test? Here’s what you need to know about refusing a breathalyzer from our criminal defense attorney Richard Fink.
No, you can’t refuse a breathalyzer in PA. Pennsylvania law title 75, section 1547 says that all drivers on the roads in the state automatically consent to take a breath or blood test. Each driver must take a breathalyzer test any time a law enforcement officer has a reasonable suspicion that they may be a drunk driver. Just because you’ve taken to the roads, the law presumes that you’re willing to take a breathalyzer test.
If you refuse a breathalyzer test in Pennsylvania, your license gets suspended. A first offense results in a license suspension for 12 months. A second offense results in a license suspension for 18 months. In addition, you have to pay a license reinstatement fee. The state doesn’t physically force you to take the breathalyzer test. However, you face all of the consequences of refusing the test and you may also face drunk driving charges.
No, you should not refuse a breathalyzer test in PA. Typically, if law enforcement has enough evidence to ask you to take a breathalyzer test, they have enough evidence to charge you with drunk driving. Your best bet is to take the test and work with your criminal defense attorney to challenge the results.
Yes, you can be charged with DUI if you refuse a breathalyzer test in Pennsylvania. The state can still charge you with driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. To convict you of driving under the influence, the state doesn’t have to prove that you had a certain alcohol content. They have to show only that alcohol or drugs impacted your ability to drive.
The state’s attorney might call the police officer to the stand to talk about other signs of intoxication like watery eyes or slurred speech. They might admit evidence of an accident or statements from witnesses. In other words, the state may still charge you with drunk driving even if you refuse the breathalyzer test. You also face all of the other consequences of the breath test refusal.
An attorney can help you if you’re charged with refusing a breathalyzer test or if you’re facing a drunk driving charge. If you’ve already refused a breathalyzer test, your criminal defense attorney can help you address it in the best way possible and minimize the impact in your life. If you’ve taken a breathalyzer test, your lawyer can help you fight the results and challenge the admissibility of the results into evidence.
If you’re facing a drunk driving charge or an allegation of refusing a breathalyzer test, call criminal defense attorney Richard Fink for a consultation about your case.