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Pennsylvania's Implied Consent Laws

Many people are very familiar with the harsh penalties in place that come with a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Often, in many cases, this is the first time that an individual will have ever been in trouble with the police. When stopped by law enforcement, they may not know what will happen next.

A Pennsylvania man recently received a DUI charge. The man was apparently upset with the charges, and went to the police department to voice his displeasure. He announced that he wanted to sue the township for the arrest. Unfortunately, the man appeared to be intoxicated while making his complaint with the officers. Police arrested him for a second DUI, meaning he faced two DUIs within 24 hours.

In both cases, the man refused a blood test in connection with the arrests. Like many other states, Pennsylvania has implied consent laws. This means that when driving a vehicle on a road within Pennsylvania, the driver agrees to submit to a blood or breath test if he or she is suspected of driving under the influence.

Those that deny these requests will lose their driving privileges, possibly for an entire year. The refusal itself will not result in criminal charges, but there will be an administrative hearing over the individual's driver's license.

Some people are reluctant to take these tests because they are concerned about the evidence that this may give to law enforcement. However, there are potential challenges available to individuals with test results that show a high blood-alcohol content.

Officers must follow specific procedures when using these tests, and if they not, there may be opportunities to demonstrate how these variations may impact the test results. Each case will be different, so it will be important to know which options may be available in each situation.

Source: PennLive.com "Middlesex man was intoxicated when he tried to file complaint about DUI arrest, police say" Matthew Kemeny, July 9, 2012.

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Gregory R. Gifford
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