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Can you refuse a breath test in Pennsylvania?

On Behalf of | Sep 14, 2022 | criminal defense |

Even if you usually drink in moderation, you may be wondering what might happen if authorities ask you to take a breath test on the way home from an event where you consumed alcohol.

When you inform yourself of what Pennsylvania law says about breath tests, you can better protect yourself and your future if you ever find yourself in this situation.

Can I refuse a breath test?

Pennsylvania is an implied consent state. This means that when you apply for your driver’s license in the state, you are waiving your right to refuse breath testing without consequences. If authorities place you under arrest because they suspect you of driving under the influence, you are legally required to submit to chemical testing.

What might happen if I refuse the test?

When you refuse a breath test in the state of Pennsylvania, the consequences for refusal may exceed those for cooperating. If you are a first-time offender, the penalty for refusing a breath test is an immediate one-year license suspension. If this is your second offense or beyond, you can lose your license for a year and a half. Regardless of whether or not you are actually convicted of a DUI, these license penalties will still stand and you may have to pay a fee to get your license reinstated. You may even be subject to Pennsylvania DUI penalties for refusing.

Understanding your rights under Pennsylvania law can help you make better decisions to protect yourself. While refusing a breath test may be tempting, cooperation with authorities may help you avoid more severe consequences.