Under Pennsylvania laws, anyone who is suspected of operating a vehicle or has “substantial control of a vehicle” and is under the influence of alcohol may be arrested. Under the implied consent laws, drivers are required by law to submit to a chemical or blood test to allow law enforcement officers to determine their blood alcohol levels. As a Philadelphia refusals lawyer, we have dealt with clients who have refused a chemical test at the time of their arrest.
Contact Attorney Ken Chotiner for help
Pennsylvania drivers agree when they obtain their drivers license that when they are stopped for suspicion of DUI they will consent to certain tests. However, in some instances, it is possible to defend against a refusal of a chemical or blood test especially if any of the following occur:
- Illegal stop – before you may be stopped and tested for alcohol, a law enforcement officer must have cause to stop you. This means you must be driving erratically or violating other laws that gave the officer reason to stop you and ultimately test your breath for alcohol
- No control of vehicle – Pennsylvania courts have given broad powers to law enforcement officers in their efforts to curb impaired driving. If you were not operating a vehicle but were asleep in the drivers seat of the vehicle and smelled of alcohol this could be sufficient to charge you with drinking and driving
Attorney Ken Chotiner explains the penalties of refusal
The penalties for a first-time DUI arrest when you refuse a chemical test are severe and can impact your ability to keep your PA driver’s license. First trime offenders will be subject to the maximum penalties allowed under Pennsylvania law including:
- Prison time – a first time arrest and refusal of a chemical test could result in as much as six months in jail. Subsequent offenses could result in as many as five years prison time.
- Loss of driving rights – when you are arrested and refuse a chemical or blood test you may lose your license automatically for as much as one year the first time. The “first year” is a criminal penalty and you could wind up losing your driving rights for as many as two years since there may also be a civil penalty.
- Monetary penalties – in addition to incurring points that could cause your auto insurance rates to rise, you may also face a fine of upwards of $5,000 for a first offense DUI or if you have refused to submit to a chemical test.
If you have refused a chemical test the potential consequences could be serious. Contact Attorney Ken Chotiner, a skilled Philadelphia refusals lawyer.