When you register to get a driver’s license in Pennsylvania or elsewhere, there are certain terms that come with it to which you agree. For example, implied consent laws. If pulled over for suspected impairment, you agree to chemical testing.
Does implied consent really mean you have to comply? While expected, no, you do not. You have the right to refuse.
Types of chemical tests
There are four different types of chemical tests used to check for drug or alcohol impairment. These are:
Depending on what officers are looking for, these tests can show blood alcohol percentage or different types of drugs in one’s system. They are all believed accurate measures of impairment, though many would argue that there are flaws.
The most common test used roadside is the breath test. If police suspect alcohol impairment, an officer will ask you to supply a breath sample into a little machine. The machine then runs the sample through chemicals that can detect alcohol and then register a blood alcohol percentage. Easy and quick. The problem with these machines is that they require maintenance and cleaning in order to ensure an accurate reading. Sometimes, these machines face neglect and false high readouts occur.
While many people believe in complying with all police commands all the time, there are others who would rather refuse testing. This is your right. Officers cannot force you to supply a sample — unless police have a warrant. Refusing may have consequences, though.
If you refuse, the state may suspend or revoke your driving privileges. To get them back, it is necessary to attend an administrative hearing. This you can do with legal counsel at your side. You do not have to go through it alone.
Having to deal with both administrative and criminal proceedings for suspected impairment and failure to comply with implied consent laws can seem overwhelming. There is a lot that goes on at both of these hearings. With assistance, it is possible to navigate both systems as you seek to achieve a positive outcome to your case. While fighting a DUI charge won’t be easy, with the guidance of legal counsel, you can do everything in your power to defend yourself and protect your rights.