Perhaps the most important thing to remember when stopped on suspicion of a DUI (driving under the influence) is that you have agreed to implied consent when you applied for a driver’s license. Implied consent means you gave implied permission to submit to a test of your blood alcohol level, and it does not require direct, express, or explicit words of agreement. It can be refused, in the moment of the roadside stop, which will result in a loss of your drivers license for one year whether you are convicted of a DUI or not.
Pennsylvania Implied Consent Law
The implied consent law exists in all states. The Pennsylvania statute reads:
“Any person who drives, operates or is in actual physical control of the movement of a motor vehicle in this Commonwealth shall be deemed to have given consent to one or more chemical tests of breath, blood or urine for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of blood or the presence of a controlled substance if a police officer has reasonable grounds to believe the person to have been driving, operating or in actual physical control of the movement of a motor vehicle…”
— Title 75, Section 1547
Refusal to Submit to Chemical Testing
Refusal to submit to chemical testing, whether by breath, urine or blood will result in the suspension of a driver’s license for 12 months in Pennsylvania. It is the officer’s duty to make drivers aware of the license suspension if the suspect refuses to test. While refusal is a right, many drivers do it because they think they have been caught “red handed.” Bear in mind that test results can be challenged later.
Strategic DUI Defense
If a driver is charged with a DUI, The Law Office of Sharif N. Abaza will try to have the charge thrown out due to errors by the police or the charge may be fought in court. As your attorney, Mr. Abaza may advise you to take a plea bargain if the offer is appropriate based on the circumstances of your case. However, if he can find a significant flaw in the testing protocol executed by the officer, a charge can be dismissed. This can be done in a number of ways; one popular method is calling into question the reliability of a Breathalyzer device. In the past, many cases have been thrown out due to improperly calibrated equipment associated with breath testers.