Should I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test in Pennsylvania?
October 23, 2020
Some people have been given advice to refuse a breathalyzer test if they are pulled over for driving under the influence (DUI). In Pennsylvania, there are several serious consequences for refusing a breathalyzer test. A driver should become familiar with related laws.
What is the Implied Consent Law?
In Pennsylvania, a driver consents to a breathalyzer test when they obtain a driver’s license. The implied consent law states that all drivers have given implied consent to a breathalyzer test if a police officer believes that the motorist is intoxicated. Therefore, the driver cannot legally refuse the test. Stopped motorists cannot simply request a blood or urine test. Drivers may have the option on how the test is administered.
Police officers must have reasonable cause to stop drivers. When the driver’s lawyer builds a case, they can show that the officer did not have reasonable cause in some situations. While a driver cannot litigate this situation with a police officer, their concerns should be raised with an attorney.
What if I Did Not Understand the Officer’s Request?
Some drivers do not understand a police’s officers request. There may be a language barrier that prevents the driver from understanding what is happening. The request may not make sense to the driver, which may cause the situation to escalate.
Drivers may also remain silent because they are scared, tired, or embarrassed. While silence might be used as grounds to charge a driver with refusal to accept a breathalyzer test, a lawyer must look deeper to understand what actually occurred during the traffic stop. For example, a frightened driver might feel like there is nothing they can say to make the situation better.
What if the Police Officer Did Not Follow Proper Procedures?
The officer may not have followed proper procedures when conducting the traffic stop or informing the driver of their rights. A driver might also think they are being entrapped if the officer’s instructions or mannerisms seem unprofessional, unbecoming of a law enforcement officer, or unlawful. A lawyer can review the police report and even bodycam footage from the officer to show procedures were not followed.
DUI charges are serious, so it is important to speak to a lawyer if one is facing such charges. A lawyer can review the facts of the case and build a strong defense.
West Chester DUI Defense Lawyers at the Law Offices of Heather J. Mattes Defend Clients Facing Serious DUI Charges
Reach out to one of our West Chester DUI defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Heather J. Mattes for assistance with DUI charges. We protect clients accused of drunk driving. Call us at 610-431-7900 or complete our online form for a free consultation today. Located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve clients throughout Chester County, Bucks County, Delaware County, Lehigh County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County.