As a DUI lawyer, I realize that there is a lot of false information that tends to be put out on blogs and even YouTube videos regarding what you should or should not do when pulled over for drunk driving. This is problematic because if you do not understand the law, you may put yourself in a situation where you receive unnecessary penalties. The possibility of getting into more trouble than necessary is particularly true when it comes to consenting to a breathalyzer or other chemical test.
The Pennsylvania legislature passed implied consent laws that make it so by driving within the Commonwealth, you are giving consent for a test to be conducted if a law enforcement officer thinks you may be intoxicated. An officer may have one or several tests conducted to make this determination, including testing your blood or breath. To do so, the officer only needs to have reasonable grounds for suspecting that you were operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
What Happens if You Say No?
This is where having the correct knowledge is critical. Many people online are giving the idea that you can simply deny a breathalyzer test or refuse to have your blood tested. This information is misleading. While you do have the right to refuse consent, the videos do not cover the risks and consequences of doing so.
The biggest risk is that you can have your license suspended for a year or longer. In most cases, your license will be suspended for a year. However, if you previously have had a license suspension under this same situation, were convicted after refusing a test in the past, or have committed a combination of offenses under the same legal code, you could lose your license for a year and a half.
There Is a Better Way
The best thing you can do is to consent to a test and then call my office to speak with a DUI lawyer. You need to have someone on your side that can provide you with sound legal advice and make it clear what your options are. You will always get straight information from me and I will clarify any ambiguity that has been caused by the information you have read elsewhere.
As your DUI lawyer, my job is to ensure that your rights are protected and that you are treated fairly at all times. I will work to ensure that you are not asked questions without my being present and that the evidence presented by the prosecution is legal and accurate. This often means reviewing what happened during your arrest, making sure that the equipment being used to test your BAC has been serviced recently, and ensuring that none of your rights were violated at any time.
Each scenario is different so I recommend calling my office to discuss what your options are and the best path forward. Remember that this is a criminal charge and it wise to have an attorney represent you in court.
NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.