More than one driver has asked the question, “can refuse a breathalyzer in Pennsylvania?” While the answer is technically “yes,” it also comes with penalties.
The state allows for up to three offenses, but they each can sting. Also, your license will likely be suspended in the process. Getting a DUI can significantly change your life and not for the better. With a BAC cap of 0.08, it requires diligence from motorists to obey.
Szar Bail Bonds has met with many inmates who didn’t understand implied consent laws. When you discover yourself in the same situation, call on us for 24-hour service.
Three DUI Offenses and Punishments
Each time you refuse a breathalyzer, you’re subjected to harsher punishments. The state has three levels of consequences for those drinking and driving. The first time includes a 12-month license suspension and a $500 fine. That has to be paid off within one year to reinstate your license.
For the second offense, the suspension period moves to 18-months instead of 12. The penalty doubles to a total amount of $1,000. On the third offense, the fine doubles again to $2,000. During any arrest, the judge may also recommend abuse training and community service.
Can You Refuse a Breathalyzer in Pennsylvania Without Being Arrested?
Refusing to take a breathalyzer is a huge red flag to police that you are in fact driving intoxicated. Plus, the blood alcohol limit firmly sits at 0.08%, which doesn’t take too many drinks to achieve. Chances are, you’ve broken several drinking and driving laws without even realizing it.
Some will recommend intentionally refusing to take a breathalyzer if you know you’re guilty. However, police will likely still have you take one after being arrested. There’s no way around being arrested on DUI charges, and many cities continue cracking down. The best way to skip jail time is to sober up before driving or just taking a cab.
Why is Taking a Breathalyzer Test Mandatory?
With Pennsylvania’s implied consent laws, motorists must abide by a breathalyzer test. Since that is a separate charge from driving intoxicated, it doesn’t help matters. Now you have even more charges to fight, making it an uphill battle. Chances are, the opposing counsel will also use your refusal against you in court.
Defenders might use it to spin their argument against your character. Or, they may simply use it to add fuel to their fire. There is no guarantee that a lawyer can have your refused test dismissed. Now that you have separate criminal charges, it’s a difficult case to represent.
What Happens After I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?
Even short stints in jail will likely come with probationary terms. Being arrested on DUI charges is likely enough to also get fired. Unfortunately, with a criminal record, it will become challenging to find a new job. Without an active driver’s license, it becomes difficult to stay employed.
The more DUI offenses you have, the more likely the charges are harsher. If it upgrades from a misdemeanor to a felony, you could also lose voting rights. You can’t let a few cheap beers or cocktails ruin your life. If you aren’t able to drive home safely, find another way home.
Not Worth the Risk in Pennsylvania
Many drivers think they are close enough to the 0.08% to be able to safely get behind the wheel. However, many that get pulled over and take a breathalyzer in Pennsylvania find out that they were well over the limit.
Even if it’s your first time risking it, you can end up in trouble. Even if you don’t end up in trouble, you are still putting others at risk in the process. A single DUI can cost you everything if you’re not careful, and no one can stand to lose their license.
If you decide to drink and drive, give us a call. The team behind Szar Bail Bonds offers 24-hour agents.