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What Are the Consequences of Refusing a Breathalyzer Test in Pennsylvania?

Driving is a privilege in Pennsylvania, just as it is in the rest of the country. This means that when you receive your driver’s license, you are required to operate your motor vehicle in a manner that does not violate state and federal laws.

Unfortunately, one of the most common ways motorists violate the law is drunk driving. If you are stopped for a drunk driving investigation, law enforcement will require you to take a breathalyzer test to ascertain your blood alcohol content (BAC) level before they can decide whether to charge you or not. But should you yield to this test?

Pennsylvania is an implied consent state

Pennsylvania applies the implied consent rule. This means that if law enforcement has reasonable suspicion to believe that you are driving under the influence, they will pull you over for a chemical test.

If you refuse to yield to a breathalyzer test when you are required to take one, you could face a range of consequences. It is important to understand that the penalties for a breathalyzer test refusal can be quite severe – perhaps more severe than the price you would pay for a first DUI conviction.

Here are some of the consequences you might have to deal with following your refusal to yield to the breathalyzer test:

  • For the first offense – your driver’s license could be suspended for 12 months. Additionally, you might need to pay a fine of $500 before your license can be reinstated.
  • For the second offense – your driver’s license could be suspended for 18 months. Additionally, you might have to pay a fine of $1,000 before your license can be reinstated.
  • For the third offense – your driver’s license could be suspended for 18 months after which you might pay a fine of $2,000 for your license’s reinstatement.

If you are charged with drunk driving or refusing to submit to the breathalyzer test, you need to explore your legal options so you can build an effective defense strategy.