Breath Test Refusal

If 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 attempt to detect any smell of alcohol and will check your eyes for redness. 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
  • Walking a straight line

If these tests indicate possible intoxication, the officer will ask you to take a breath test.

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, including:

  • 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. Refusal of a breath test in the state of Pennsylvania can carry certain ramifications. Click here to learn more about the Pennsylvania DUI laws.

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, and 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, and if you are involved in a DUI accident, the penalties are even higher if you are 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.

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 typically 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, which can be misleading because your BAC can fluctuate for several hours or more after you consume alcohol.

Breath Test Refusal: How a DUI Lawyer Can Help

If you have been arrested for DUI and have refused to take a breath or blood test, you need the help of a credible DUI attorney as quickly as possible. Consult with a legal team that specializes in Pennsylvania DUI cases – contact the Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis online or call (215) 940-1200 for a free consultation today. Our phone is answered 24 hours a day.