The High Price of Refusal

If you have a Pennsylvania driver’s license, you have already consented to have your blood alcohol level tested upon demand by a law enforcement officer. You do not have a right to speak to an attorney before such testing, and failure to comply with a proper request for blood alcohol testing (Breathalyzer, blood test, etc.) can really cost you.

If you are stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence, you will be transported to a testing facility (either a dedicated DUI facility or a hospital) for blood alcohol testing. If you refuse to do so, or if you do anything short of full cooperation, you will be charged with refusing blood alcohol testing, and the penalty is severe: an automatic one year license suspension, regardless of whether you were over the legal limit for blood alcohol content.

DUI offenses are not popular with the police, or with the courts or the general public. You will get little sympathy from the arresting officer or the trial judge. While mistakes are made, proving them is difficult because judges “don’t want to hear it.” You will be presumed guilty absent very unusual circumstances.

Testing equipment does malfunction. Police officers do make mistakes. But convincing a judge is another story. DUI is so unpopular that even in “good” cases your chances of reversing a refusal charge are slim.

Our recommendation: Comply with any police officer’s request to take a blood alcohol test. You won’t beat the DUI charge by not taking the test, you will only insure an additional one year license suspension if you do not cooperate.

— Kevin Palmer

Posted in Vehicle  |  Leave a comment

Leave a thought...