Chemical Test Refusal Q+A
An “implied consent law” basically states that any person who drives, operates, or is in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle in Pennsylvania “consents” or agrees to submit to a chemical test to determine if the person has drugs or alcohol in their body. In order to invoke the Implied Consent law, set forth at 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 1547, a police officer must have
“reasonable grounds” to suspect that the driver or operator of the vehicle is: 1) violating the Pennsylvania DUI law 2) driving on a DUI-suspended license with a blood alcohol level above a .02 percent, in violation of 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 1543(b)(1.1) or 3) was driving without a required ignition interlock device with a blood alcohol level above .025 percent, in violation of 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3808(a)(2).
Refusing a Chemical Test
If a person refuses to submit to chemical testing, then testing is not conducted. The officer is required by Pennsylvania law to inform the person that a refusal will result in the suspension of Pennsylvania driving privileges, and, if the person is convicted of DUI in this incident, the person’s DUI penalties will be in the third or highest level. If the officer fails to inform the driver about either the suspension or the increased DUI sentence related to the refusal, then the driver has a legitimate defense to challenge both the administrative suspension and the increased penalties for the DUI criminal charge.
Frequently Asked Questions in DUI Refusal Cases
- What happens if I refuse chemical testing?
- How long will I lose my license because of the refusal of chemical testing after being arrested for DUI?
- Can I negotiate with PennDOT or the judge to reduce the administrative suspension?
- Can I obtain a limited license that will allow me to drive to work, school, or to pick my children?
- How can I be charged with driving under the influence when I refused the chemical testing?
- How does a prosecutor prove general impairment DUI charges in a chemical test refusal case?
Penn State criminal defense lawyer Jason S. Dunkle has represented many people who have been charged with DUI charges and other criminal offenses such as marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. For a free consultation with an experienced State College defense attorney, contact JD Law at (814) 954-7622 or via email.