If you have been arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania and submitted to a chemical breath test, there are many factors you should be aware of that may affect your DUI charge, including breath test problems, permissible refusal of a breath test, and penalties for refusing a breath test. Your criminal defense attorney may be able to fight the breath test results obtained in your case and have them suppressed or excluded from evidence.
Before accepting a DUI conviction, contact an experienced DUI lawyer to discuss your options and how you can successfully defend against a DUI test. The Skinner Law Firm represents individuals charged with DUI and breath test refusals in West Chester, Phoenixville, Kennett Square, Oxford, Coatesville, or anywhere in Chester County. An experienced attorney can guide you through each step of the process, and help you obtain the best possible outcome. Contact the Skinner Law Firm today for a free consultation at (610) 436-1410.
If an officer believes there is enough evidence of impairment, they may ask you to submit to one or more standardized field sobriety tests. These allow police to observe your balance, physical ability, cognitive ability, attention level, or other indicators that you were driving while impaired.
There are three standard field sobriety tests according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
If you were arrested for DUI and blew over the legal limit of .08%, you are not prevented from fighting the charges. Breath test machines in Pennsylvania do not always render accurate and reliable results.
The results from these breath test machines can be inaccurate, unreliable, and sometimes ultimately inadmissible in a criminal proceeding.
Any number of circumstances can lead to increased readings, including:
If a driver refuses to submit to chemical testing of their breath to determine Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), then Pennsylvania law imposes some of the most severe punishments according to Pennsylvania Statutes § 3804. These penalties can include:
A first offense DUI conviction involving a refusal to submit to a breath test is a misdemeanor, and if convicted, an individual faces the following mandatory sentence:
A second DUI involving a refusal of a breath test is a misdemeanor of the first degree, and if convicted, an individual faces the following mandatory sentence:
An individual who refuses to submit to a breath test also faces severe license suspension consequences. In addition to the above license suspension, a refusal to submit to a breath test carries an additional one year (possibly 18 months) driver’s license suspension.
Because breath test devices are not 100% accurate, there are a variety of defenses an attorney may be able to use, depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest.
In addition to attacking the reliability of the breath test results, the results of your breath test may have come about from violations of your constitutional rights and other statutory protections, including:
Women may have additional defenses, such as:
If you were arrested for driving under the influence and submitted to a chemical test of your breath in Chester County, contact the Skinner Law Firm today for a consultation about your alleged offense.
Attorney Michael J. Skinner is experienced and knowledgeable about Pennsylvania’s DUI laws, including the administrator and collection of breath test results. He will make every effort to help you avoid harsh penalties.
Call (610) 436-1410 for a free consultation about your breath test or breath test refusal.