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What happens if I refuse a Breathalyzer test?

Imagine you are driving along the road and are pulled over by a police officer. At some point during the traffic stop, the officer may reasonably suspect that you have been drinking alcohol and ask you to submit to a Breathalyzer test to determine your blood alcohol content, or BAC. If the test shows that your BAC level is .08 or higher, you may be arrested and charged with driving under the influence.

While Breathalyzer results are not necessary to convict a driver of a DUI, the results can make it much easier for a state prosecutor to prove their case against you.

As a licensed driver in Pennsylvania, you implicitly consent to submitting to a breathalyzer test if a law enforcement officer requests one. Refusing a Breathalyzer is against the law and may result in a suspension of your license.

While refusing to take the test is against the law, it may be in your best interest to do so, depending on the circumstances. In fact, attorneys specializing in criminal defense law generally suggest that you avoid submitting to the test, even if you think you have not had that much to drink. Without the Breathalyzer results, prosecutors will have to rely on other evidence, including officer observations, to prove their case. This other evidence is generally not as strong as Breathalyzer results.

What happens if I already took the Breathalyzer?

If you already made the decision to take the test, there are still ways your attorney can help you defend against your DUI charges. For example, your attorney can show that the test results were inaccurate due to improper administration of the test or that the device used for testing was not properly calibrated.

Your criminal defense attorney can review the specifics of your case and come up with a defense strategy tailored to your case.