What Happens if You Refuse a Chemical Test in PA?

Drunk driving causes 28% of traffic fatalities in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania law sets the legal limit for Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) while driving at .08, meaning a BAC of .08 or higher is considered to be Driving Under the Influence (DUI). A blood or breath test, called a chemical test, is often administered to determine a driver’s BAC. The penalties for DUI vary depending on many factors, including the level of BAC and number of prior DUI offenses.

Pennsylvania law provides that drivers give implied consent to this kind of testing. Anyone driving or in physical control of a vehicle “shall be deemed to have given consent to one or more chemical tests” to determine the driver’s BAC, if a police officer reasonably believes the driver has been operating the vehicle under any of the following circumstances:

  • With a suspended or revoked license,
  • Under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or
  • Without an ignition interlock, having been required to do so.

If an officer pulls you over for suspicion of DUI, Pennsylvania Law requires you to take a chemical test when requested to do so by the officer. The officer has the duty to inform the driver of the ramifications of not taking the blood or breath test. In PA, if you refuse to take a chemical, the consequences include:

  • Your license could be suspended for 12-18 months,
  • You may have to pay restoration fees of $500 – $2,000, and
  • The evidence of your refusing a chemical test can be admitted as evidence against you in court.

Refusal of a blood or breath test is an offense on its own and you could still have your license suspended for a year (or 18 months if your license has been previously suspended), even if you are not found guilty of DUI. Once your license is reinstated, you will be required to pay $500-$2,000 in restoration fees in addition to any other fees or penalties.

Your refusal to take a blood or breath test – along with other information regarding the circumstances – is admissible evidence that can be used against you in court to prove that you were driving while intoxicated. It is in your best interest to obtain an attorney to protect your rights, whether or not you refused a chemical test.

Contact a West Chester, Pennsylvania DUI Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case

Driving under the influence is a serious offense. Conviction for DUI in Pennsylvania can result in fines, revocation of your license, and/or time in jail. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, you need to contact a Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney to help you navigate through the process and advocate for your rights. To schedule a free consultation with a West Chester, Pennsylvania DUI Attorney, call the Skinner Law Firm at 610-436-1410 or contact us online. We are here to help.

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