What is Pennsylvania’s Implied Consent Law

pennsylvania's implied consent law

When someone is suspected of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the officer will likely ask the driver to submit to a breath or blood test. Of course, if someone has an idea that they’re likely impaired by alcohol, they may wonder if they can, or should, refuse to take the breathalyzer test. Please continue reading and reach out to a knowledgeable Pittsburgh DUI lawyer from the Law Offices of George Heym to learn about Pennsylvania’s Implied Consent Law, challenging DUI evidence in Pittsburgh, and how our firm can help you, every step of the way. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What does Pennsylvania’s Implied Consent Law dictate?

Essentially, the Implied Consent Law states that if a person is suspected of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they are required to submit to blood or breath testing. If they refuse a breathalyzer test, law enforcement can, and most likely will, arrest them for driving while under the influence. Additionally, even if a person does refuse, the arresting officer will still likely apply for a search warrant to obtain a blood sample and eventually test the driver and charge them with a DUI.

What are the consequences of refusing to submit to testing in Pennsylvania?

Those who refuse to submit to testing in violation of the Commonwealth’s implied consent law face the following penalties:

  • License suspension: In the event that the driver refuses to submit to testing, the officer will notify the Department of Transportation (DOT), which will then impose a twelve-month license suspension. This suspension will run consecutively with any other suspension, including those stemming from a DUI conviction. If the driver has a prior refusal suspension, a prior DUI conviction or similar prior offense, DOT will impose an eighteen-month license suspension. That said, the driver can contest the suspension by requesting a hearing with the assistance of an attorney.
  • Ignition interlock devices: If you refuse to submit to chemical testing, you will likely have to install and use an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for one year after your license is reinstated. Fortunately, however, an offender can regain driving privileges early by installing the ignition interlock device after serving only half of the suspension sentence.
  • Reinstatement fee: Likely, the driver will have to pay a reinstatement fee of anywhere between $500 and $2,000, depending on whether this is a first or subsequent refusal conviction.
  • Criminal penalties: Anyone found guilty of driving while under the influence will likely face high fines and jail time.

If you would like more information, speak with a skilled Allegheny County DUI lawyer immediately.

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