Consequences For Refusing A Breathalyzer Test

December 4, 2017By Brian Manchester

In Pennsylvania, there are two ways that the Commonwealth can gather evidence that will result in a Blood Alcohol Concentration Level:

  1. Blood test.
  2. Breath test.

Now it is important to differentiate that there are two different types of breath test.

There is the portable breath test that officers give to you on the side of the road, this test can be refused if you so choose. Then there is the breath test at the police station. This test can also be refused, but if you refuse it, the Court and Legislature will rule that you are to be charged under the DUI statute in Pennsylvania. Then, you will face an additional license suspension for the refusal through PennDOT.

According to Pennsylvania’s implied consent statute, “Any person who drives, operates or is in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle in this Commonwealth shall be deemed to have given consent to one or more chemical tests…” in order to determine the blood alcohol content (BAC).

If you refuse to submit to the breathalyzer test, you will have your driver’s license suspended for at least 12 months or 18 months if you have a previous refusal or DUI. This is a civil license suspension through PennDOT and has nothing to do with the criminal penalties involved.

Challenges To a Breath Test

Certain guidelines must be followed for the administration of a Breathalyzer test. If these guidelines were not followed, then the test results can be invalidated and thrown out in Court. Challenges that may be made include:

  • You were not observed by a law enforcement officer for 20 minutes prior to the administration of the test.
  • The administrator of the test was not properly certified.
  • The machine was not properly calibrated.
  • There were not two consecutive tests conducted.
  • The test was not properly administered.

What Should You Do If Charged With a DUI?

It is extremely important to contact an experienced law firm right away in you or someone you know is charged with Driving Under the Influence in Pennsylvania. If you, your son, daughter, or loved one in Pennsylvania has been arrested for a crime in state or federal court in Pennsylvania you need legal representation Here at Manchester and Associates we represent people across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For a free consultation we can be contacted at 1-800-243-4878.

Posted in: Breath Testing , DUI Blog

Tags: Breathalyzer Test, DUI Defense, Refusing A Breathalyzer Test,

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About the Author

Brian Manchester is the owner of Manchester and Associates in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. His law firm practices DUI and Criminal Defense exclusively throughout the entire state of Pennsylvania in both state and federal court. He has a team of two other lawyers with a combined 50 years of trial and courtroom experience are also trained in science and many other skills that are relevant to criminal defense to include the psychology of persuasion as well. One of his associates is a former District Attorney (chief prosecutor) in central Pennsylvania.   Mr. Manchester and his team routinely handle serious felony cases including murder, manslaughter, sex crimes, complex financial crimes, and serious assaults. A large part of Mr. Manchester’s practice is the defense of alcohol and drug-based DUI offenses as well as drug cases using science and analytical chemistry. Mr. Manchester has training as a Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Instructor. He is one of a handful of Certified Lawyer-Scientists as recognized by the American Chemical Society in the United States. He is a member of NCDD and is a Founding Member of DUIDLA. He is also a member of the American Chemical Society with over 170,000 members across the world. To date, he is the only practicing criminal defense lawyer to belong to the Society of Forensic Toxicologist where he is an Associate Member. Mr. Manchester speaks nationally on the topic of blood and drug testing for alcohol as well as the metrological (measurement uncertainty) in forensic testing.

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