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Breath and drug testing in Pennsylvania

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2021 | DUI/DWI

Being stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence can be a nerve-wracking experience. It’s important for drivers in Pennsylvania to know their rights in that situation. Firstly, the police need to have reasonable suspicion to pull someone over for DUI. Secondly, in Pennsylvania, implied consent laws mean that drivers should submit to breath and drug testing.

Defining implied consent

Most people are familiar with the idea of consent that is given explicitly. Someone signs something or states that they agree to something. Under the law, it’s also possible for an individual to give consent implicitly. In such a situation, their actions and the circumstances of an event show that they’ve given consent. In Pennsylvania, driving privileges are linked to implied consent.

Penalties for refusal

In effect, if someone declines a breath or a drug test, they are violating the drivers’ license agreement that is enforced by the state. Simply refusing the test can be grounds for license suspension for up to a year. This suspension can be added to other penalties if the driver is eventually convicted for DUI. Refusing a breath test makes DUI defense more difficult.

Drivers who refuse to take a breath or drug test will also need to pay a fee to have their license reinstated when that time comes. This fee increases each time someone refuses a test. As of 2021, it doubles between the first and second offense and again between the second and third offense.

It is thus obvious that these sanctions are not to be taken lightly. A criminal defense attorney who has experience with these types of matters can provide you with more information on the subject.