In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as a condition of maintaining a driver’s license, all drivers are subject to the implied consent requirements of the Motor Vehicle Code – thus, a driver must submit to blood and breath tests under appropriate circumstances. Practically speaking, what this means is that by operation of law, a person has already “consented” to a chemical test of his blood or breath by having a license/operating a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth. This becomes important in driving under the influence ( DUI ) cases where one is arrested under suspicion of DUI/DWI. While under the law, there is no right to knowingly consent to blood or breath testing because one has impliedly done so by operating a vehicle or having a license; there is a right to a knowing and conscious refusal. In order to properly inform an accused of these rights, there are warnings that must be given before a refusal can be deemed knowing and conscious. The warnings are meant to provide the accused with the rights that he/she does or does not have before refusing to submit to the chemical test of his/her blood or breath. Further, they are meant to inform one of what the consequences of the refusal may be. Many times, the circumstances or facts show that the arresting officer did not correctly inform the accused of these warnings.
When an accused refuses to submit to blood or breath testing, the penalties can be severe. They include added license suspensions and the ability of the Court to sentence as if the individual in a more severe or harsh manner. The issue of whether or not a refusal was knowing and conscious must be analyzed by an experienced criminal defense attorney. Correctly and thoroughly litigating this issue can have a drastic impact on the outcome of a driving under the influence refusal case. Contact DiCindio Law LLC for a free consultation today.
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