A DUI conviction, like most criminal convictions, will follow you for years to come. During a traffic stop under suspicion of DUI, the officer may ask you to take a breath test. If you have ever heard about drivers refusing the breath test, you may wonder if you should do the same.
There are allowances and repercussions for you if you refuse a breath test.
Portable breath tests are optional
During a traffic stop for DUI suspicion, the officer involved typically administers a field sobriety test. In addition, the officer may request that you take a portable breath test. These tests are optional and not admissible. Refuse this test if you choose.
Evidentiary breath and blood tests are not optional
Pennsylvania’s Implied Consent law obligates those with a driver’s license to comply with evidentiary breath or blood tests for blood alcohol testing. Refusal of these tests, administered either at the hospital or with a desktop breath test machine, results in penalties such as license suspension, a $2,000 reinstatement fee and potential jail time.
Your blood alcohol content matters
You might wonder why a blood alcohol test matters. In Pennsylvania, your blood alcohol level is a factor in your penalties. The higher your blood alcohol content, the more strict your penalties if convicted.
Understand breath test regulations and the permissible refusal opportunities to protect your legal rights. The better prepared you are before facing any kind of DUI traffic stop, the easier it is for you to protect your driving privileges.