What does “no refusal” mean when it comes to DUI or DWI in Pennsylvania? No refusal means that a person has no right to refuse a DUI test by a law enforcement official if he or she has been pulled over on suspicion of driving while impaired. In Pennsylvania, you still can just say no to a breathalyzer or a chemical test that would measure the amount of alcohol in your system – but there are significant consequences to your no.
If you do refuse to take the Breathalyzer or BAC test, your driver’s license will be suspended, in most cases for one year! Essentially, the Pennsylvania right of refusal means that you do not have to admit guilt or allow yourself to be incriminated through the testing of your blood or breath for an unlawful amount of alcohol content.
Saying No and Consequences With PA DWI
On the other hand, if you say no to a blood or DUI breath test and are arrested and convicted, your penalties in most cases are higher than those drivers who had agreed to the BAC or breath test. This is because prosecutors seek the highest penalties for those who refuse, assuming that these drivers had the highest blood alcohol content.
In 2010, 356 people throughout Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon, Perry and York counties refused to take a blood or chemical alcohol test. It’s a risk, and you would do well to contact an attorney as soon as possible if you have been arrested but refused a blood alcohol or Breathalyzer test.
The right to refuse means that even if you are stopped at a Pennsylvania sobriety checkpoint and asked to perform a field sobriety test, and the police officer then pulls you over on suspicion of DUI, you can still refuse. In our state, unlike Texas, for example, you cannot be compelled to take the DUI. In Texas, they literally have judges sitting at the sobriety checkpoints – if you refuse, the officer takes you into custody, obtains a search warrant from the judge (sitting next to him or her), and then forces you to give up a blood sample as evidence.
Should You Refuse a Breathalyzer or Other DUI Test? PA DUI Defense Attorney: 610-565-0240
If you have refused to take a breath test and are now facing license suspension, or if you have been charged with DUI, The Law Offices of John E. Kusturiss, Jr., in Media, Pennsylvania, can help. To discuss your concerns in a free initial consultation that is confidential with an experienced DUI defense attorney, please call us at 610-565-0240 or email us.
We also handle cases involving divorce and family law, and personal injury law throughout Springfield, Chester, Upper Darby, Ridley Park, Newtown Square, and Havertown, PA.