How Is A DUI Defined In The State Of Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, DUI is Driving Under the Influence of drugs and/or alcohol. When someone operates a motor vehicle, after having ingested alcohol or drugs, and he/she is incapable of operating that motor vehicle safely, they are “driving under the influence.” As a result, they can be charged with violations of Pennsylvania’s DUI Laws.
DUI laws in Pennsylvania create a tiered approach toward DUI enforcement. The combination of an individual’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level, and prior offenses, determines the consequences and penalties. The three tiers of DUI are: 1.) General Impairment (.08 to .o99% BAC); 2.) High BAC (.10 to .159% BAC); and 3.) Highest BAC (.16% and Higher). In addition, drivers under the influence of controlled substances (drugs) and those who refuse breath or chemical testing are put in the highest DUI category.
What Are The Roadside Breath Tests And Field Sobriety Tests? Are They Required In Pennsylvania?
The roadside breath test, also known as the “Portable Breath Test” (PBT), is a small handheld device that an officer uses to get an approximate estimate of what a person’s Blood Alcohol Content is. The officer might request a suspected DUI driver to blow into the PBT to get an estimated BAC.
The PBT is not the same as the post-arrest Breathalyzer machine that is used back at the police station. Unlike the PBT, the chemical breath tests performed post-arrest Breathalyzer machine is performed on calibrated devices that are tested for accuracy and approved by the Department of Health. The post-arrest Breathalyzer machine is admissible in court and used for prosecution. PBT devices are not subject to the same calibration requirements as the Breathalyzer machines used to conduct formal post-arrest testing, and the PBT is not admissible in court to establish a BAC.
What Happens If Someone Refuses The Evidential Breathalyzer Chemical Test At The Station?
Refusing tests can be admissible evidence against a person at trial. The right to remain silent, the right to a lawyer, and the right against self-incrimination do not apply to Breathalyzer tests. You don’t have a legal right to refuse a Breathalyzer test. Technically, you can refuse, as you can’t strap you down and forced to blow. However, you don’t have a legal, constitutional, or statutory right to refuse; the refusal can be used against you. In Pennsylvania, the implied consent laws say that once you get your driver’s license, you agree to the privilege of driving on the roads and you consent to chemical testing (if an officer has reasonable suspicion that you are driving under the influence). Therefore, you implicitly consent and agree to submit to a Breathalyzer test or blood test by having a license. If you refuse, you can face consequences. In addition, drivers who refuse breath or chemical testing are charged with the highest level of DUI and face the stiffest penalties.
For more information on DUI Charges In The State Of Pennsylvania, a personalized consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling Rooney Philly Lawyer (215) 279-8400 today.