Refusal of breath test
July 17, 2019 admin
When you are stopped for DUI in Pennsylvania, you’ll be asked to participate in several types of sobriety tests. If you are stopped for a traffic violation, the police will immediately try to detect any smell of alcohol and will look at your eyes to see if they are red. If the police officer suspects that you are driving while intoxicated, he will ask you to step out of the vehicle and perform one or more field sobriety tests. These may include standing on one leg, following a light with your eyes, and walking a straight line. If these tests indicate possible intoxication, the officer will ask you to take a breath test.
Understanding blood alcohol content
Blood alcohol content (BAC) is the measurement of the amount of alcohol present in the bloodstream. The legal BAC limit for driving in Pennsylvania is 0.08 percent. If you are found to have been operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher, you will be charged with DUI. A higher BAC will increase the possible penalties. If you are involved in a DUI accident, the penalties are even higher if convicted. An experienced DUI attorney understands how BAC testing is done and will be able to determine whether the testing was properly done and if the results are correct.
Pennsylvania law regarding breath tests
Implied consent law in Pennsylvania states that when you obtain your driver’s license, you are automatically consenting to take a breath test if requested. Refusal of breath testing carries its own penalties. These penalties are separate from the DUI charges and penalties that you will be facing.
- First offense: one-year license suspension
- Second offense: 18-month license suspension
- Third offense: 18-month license suspension
These penalties are in addition to any DUI penalties that you may be facing. The district attorney must prove that you refused to take the test in order to be found guilty.
Taking a breath or blood test
In Pennsylvania, it is a requirement of every licensed driver to submit to DUI testing. This testing is done at the request of a law enforcement agent, such as a police officer. The first tests typically performed are field sobriety tests. These include such tests as standing on one leg, walking a straight line, and following a light with your eyes. If the police officer feels that you have failed these tests, you may be requested to take a breath or blood test. The breath test is often done using a machine called a breathalyzer. Additionally, you may be asked to submit to a blood test. The result will show the BAC in your bloodstream at the time of the test. This can be misleading because your BAC can fluctuate for several hours or more after you consume alcohol.
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