How long will I lose my license for refusing a test in a Pennsylvania DUI case?
A person that refuses a chemical test in a Pennsylvania DUI case will normally face two license suspensions. The first is a civil suspension based upon a violation of Pennsylvania’s Implied Consent law. A person that drives in Pennsylvania is deemed to have consented to a test of breath or blood if an officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is driving under the influence. A refusal will result in either a 12 or 18 month license suspension. An 18 month suspension is imposed if:
- the person has a prior refusal
- the person has a prior DUI conviction and sentence in Pennsylvania or an equivalent out-of-state DUI conviction
A prior ARD disposition does not count as a prior conviction and sentence, so the suspension would only be 12 months if the person had ARD in the past.
A person that refuses the blood or breath test can still be charged with a DUI. If the person is convicted of DUI or accepts ARD, a second suspension is likely to occur in addition to the civil suspension noted above. A license suspension is imposed for almost all DUI offenses, except for a select few first offenses. The suspension length for the criminal charges varies. If the person accepts ARD, the suspension length normally ranges from 30 to 90 days depending upon the severity of the DUI charge. If a person is convicted of DUI, the suspension length often varies from 12 to 18 months. A DUI conviction carries mandatory minimum sentences that often include fines, jail time, and license suspensions.
It is extremely important that person does not drive during any suspension period. A Pennsylvania conviction of Driving Under Suspension DUI-related carries a sentence that includes mandatory jail time, fines, and additional license suspensions. A suspension is “DUI-related” if the reason for the suspension was because of a DUI or refusal suspension AND the person never restored the license or driving privileges. A DUI suspension does not simply end after the suspension time ends. The license must be restored.