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Understanding Pennsylvania’s Implied Consent law

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, drivers are considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol if their blood alcohol content level is at or above 0.08. Additionally, law enforcement officials may pull drivers over and charge them with a DUI if they are driving erratically. For instance, if a driver is driving too slow, changing lanes frequently or failing to obey traffic signs, they may be found guilty of drunk driving.

When a driver is pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence, the law enforcement official at the scene of the arrest may require him to take a blood, breath or urine test to determine the amount of alcohol in their system. Under Pennsylvania’s Implied Consent law, drivers automatically agree to take one of these tests if requested just by becoming licensed to drive in the state. 

If a law enforcement official requests one of these tests at an arrest scene and the driver refuses to submit, they become subject to severe penalties. The PDOT states that these penalties are in addition to any other legal consequences imposed on the driver as a result of driving under the influence of alcohol.

 If the driver does not take the test and they are found guilty of DUI, they may lose their driving privileges for up to two and a half years. The length of this suspension period is dependent on the driver’s BAC level at the time of the arrest. However, even if a driver is not found guilty of driving intoxicated, they are still subject to a license suspension penalty of one year.

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Gregory R. Gifford
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