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PA’s Implied Consent Law and You

The implied consent law in Pennsylvania has a major impact on drivers in the state.  However, most drivers have never even heard of it and many of those that have do not understand what it is.  And drivers who do not know the implied consent law could end up having their licenses suspended if stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

By applying for a license to operate a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you implicitly agree to submit to breath, blood, or urine testing if requested by a police officer.  You do not have the right to refuse chemical testing.  In fact, refusing chemical testing results in an automatic one-year suspension of your driving privileges.  Even if you never receive a DUI conviction, you must still serve the one-year suspension.  If you do receive a DUI conviction or undergo accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD), your implied consent suspension is in addition to any other suspension you receive.  If you have a previous DUI or implied consent violation, the suspension for a second violation is 18 months.

You do have constitutional rights that limit what officers can do during DUI stops.  But if you feel a request for chemical testing is unreasonable, simply refusing the test is not a good course of action.  Beating an implied consent violation is very difficult because of the unequivocal wording of the law. But an experienced Berks County DUI attorney can challenge the reasonableness of a search or stop in court.

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