When you get pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence, you need to understand your legal rights. In Pennsylvania, the legal limit for blood alcohol content is .08, with increasing penalties for higher BAC results.
You might wonder if you can refuse a breath test when pulled over. You can; however, there are legal consequences to doing so. Continue reading to learn more about DUI penalties and whether you should take a breath test.
Implied consent in Pennsylvania
According to the Pennsylvania legislature, when you drive a vehicle, you automatically give your consent to receive one or more breath or blood tests. When you refuse a test, police officers will not force you to take one. Refusing a test may seem like a good idea, but it leads to the immediate suspension of your license for at least 18 months. In addition to the suspension, you must pay a fee of up to $2,000 to restore your license. You also automatically receive a DUI charge, so you do not avoid any consequences by refusing a breath test.
Refusing might be worse
In most cases, you should take the breath test. However, speak with a lawyer before doing so. They may counsel you to do otherwise. Remember that refusing a breath or blood test might lead to harsher penalties than submitting a test. This is because refusing the test causes the state to prosecute you as if you have the highest blood alcohol levels possible.
It would be best to take certain steps when you get pulled over on suspicion of a DUI. Consult with a lawyer before taking any legal actions on your own.