Recently, the Law Office of Vincent J. Caputo posted a blog titled Refusal of a DUI Breathalyzer or Blood Test: Knowing the Consequences. That article explains the consequences of refusing a chemical test, but why must drivers submit to testing? In Pennsylvania driving is a privilege, not a right. This is why a driver is required to pass a drivers exam and renew their license. Below is the excerpt from the PA Drivers Manual that all PA registered drivers must read before testing.
PENNSYLVANIA’S IMPLIED CONSENT LAW (CHEMICAL TESTING FOR ALCOHOL OR DRUGS)
The Implied Consent law is very important to you as a driver. The law covering chemical testing says you have agreed to take such a test — just by being licensed to drive in Pennsylvania. If the police arrest you for driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and you refuse to take one (1) or more chemical tests of breath, blood or urine, your driving privilege will be automatically suspended for one (1) year. This suspension is in addition to the suspension imposed for a conviction or Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) for driving while under the influence. Even if you are found not guilty of driving while under the influence, your driving privilege will be suspended for one (1) year for a first-time refusal to take a blood, breath or urine test. If you refuse to take a test and you are found guilty of DUI, your driving privilege may be suspended for two and a half (2 1/2) years, depending on your BAC level at the time of the arrest. If you refuse chemical testing and have had a prior DUI conviction or a priorr refusal for chemical testing, you will face an 18-month suspension for the refusal, plus 18 more months for the DUI conviction, for a total suspension of three (3) years.
What does this mean for drivers in Pa?
If a driver is pulled over in Pennsylvania for suspected DUI of drugs or alcohol, they must submit to a breath, blood, or urine test. If the driver does not comply they will automatically have their drivers license revoked for one year, regardless if they were driving under the influence. It is also important to note that the Miranda rights DO NOT APPLY for testing. You may be asked to submit breath, blood, or urine without an attorney present even if you invoke your Miranda rights. Miranda rights protect citizens rights in criminal proceedings, however, according to 75 Pa.C.S.A. Section 1547(a), the consequence of refusing chemical testing is a civil matter.
If you or a loved one refused testing:
If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI and refused to submit to chemical testing, The Law Office of Vincent J. Caputo is ready to help you through this process. We understand that this charge can often be difficult for the individual involved and that is why we will work with you every step of the way in achieving the best outcome possible. Contact our office for a free consultation today, your future is our priority!