One of the most frightening parts of a DUI stop is being tested to evaluate whether you are driving under the influence. In Pennsylvania you do have the right to refuse to take a blood, breath, urine or field sobriety test. But there are penalties if you do so. At any point in this process, it is beneficial to hire a Pittsburgh DUI lawyer to defend your rights.
Refusing to Take a Field Sobriety Test
After they stop you, the police may ask you to take a field sobriety test. This is a test of your mental and physical capabilities, including how well you can follow directions, to determine if you are intoxicated.
You may be asked to perform tasks such as:
- Walking nine steps heel-to-toe and then turning around and walking nine steps back
- Standing on one leg
- Following an object, like a pen, with your eyes
Police will use the results of your performance in a field sobriety test to help establish that they had reasonable grounds to take the next step and make you take a chemical test.
You have the right to refuse to take a field sobriety test, and doing so may be helpful in situations where you refused chemical testing as well. There are no additional penalties for refusing field sobriety testing. While your refusal may further convince the officer who pulled you over that you are driving drunk, denying the officer further evidence of intoxication may work in your favor at trial.
If you are over the legal limit and you do take the test, you risk giving the police evidence you are under the influence.
Refusing To Take A Blood, Breath or Urine Test
Police in Pennsylvania do not have the right to make you to take a blood, breath or urine test to determine your BAC unless they have reasonable grounds to believe you were driving while intoxicated.
Typically, if Pittsburgh police pull you over and decide they have probable cause to charge you with DUI, after your field sobriety test they will drive you directly to a hospital to have your blood tested.
You have the right to refuse to take a blood, breath or urine test. However Pennsylvania’s implied consent law comes into play if you are charged with DUI. This means that when you got your driver’s license you automatically gave your consent to take a chemical test if you are arrested for DUI.
If you don’t take the test, your driver’s license will be suspended for one year. Additionally, the fact that you refused to take the test may be used against you in a trial.
If you have a prior DUI conviction and you refuse to take the test, or you decline to take a blood or urine DUI test two or more times, your license will be suspended for 18 months.