What If You Refuse to Take a Breathalyzer Test in Pennsylvania?

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Those who have been pulled over by police for suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol may try to beat the system by refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test. But is doing so permitted under Pennsylvania state law? If you are asking yourself that very question, please read on, then contact an experienced Allegheny County DUI lawyer to learn what happens if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test in Pennsylvania.

Can you refuse to take a breathalyzer test in Pennsylvania?

No. In fact, when you drive or otherwise operate a motor vehicle in the Keystone State, the state considers you to have given implied consent to have your blood or breath tested for the presence of alcohol or other drugs when a police officer asks for it. People who refuse to submit to blood or breath tests will face additional civil penalties.

What are the penalties for refusing to take a breathalyzer test in Pennsylvania?

You would be well advised to think twice before refusing an officer’s request for a breathalyzer or blood test. In the state of Pennsylvania, your license will be suspended for refusing to take the test, even if you successfully defend against the DUI in a Pittsburgh criminal court. This comes in addition to any criminal penalties you face for a DUI conviction. That said, the police are required by state law to tell you about the consequences if you refuse. If the officer informs you of this and you still refuse, you face the following penalties:

  • First offense DUI: 1-year license suspension
  • Second offense DUI: 18-month license suspension
  • Third offense DUI: 18-month license suspension

Whatever the outcome of the tests, you should reach out to a skilled DUI lawyer for help challenging DUI evidence in Pittsburgh.

How can an Allegheny County DUI lawyer help you?

Even if you submit to a blood or breath test and it indicates you are intoxicated, that is not the end of the road. In the United States, a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. A seasoned Pittsburgh DUI lawyer will argue that the arresting officer had no probable cause to stop you, the breath testing device was not calibrated as required, the breath testing device operator was not licensed as required and/or the officer failed to tell you your rights in the prescribed manner, among other arguments. A qualified legal representative may be able to have your charges reduced or even dismissed. Do not give up hope. Please give us a call today.

Contact Our Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer

The Law Office of George Heym focuses exclusively on DUI defense. George Heym is a former Allegheny County DUI prosecutor with an understanding of both sides of a DUI case, notable litigation experience, and relationships with local courts. Contact our firm to fight for your rights.

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“DUI case June 28, 2011- I extremely recommend hiring George Heym. He was entirely honest and great at spending thorough time on the phone. He gave me his personal cell phone so that any time, day or night if I was nervous or had a question about something, he would be able to answer it. Before I eve...”


“The Pennsylvania DUI legal process is much more complicated and confusing than I would expect. George made this process easy to navigate and helped to make things as straightforward as they could be for me. I was trying to deal with the legal process of getting a DUI in Pennsylvania after moving out...”