Can I Refuse a Blood or Breath Test During a Pennsylvania DUI Stop?

After you are pulled over in Pennsylvania, whether it be in Bucks County, Montgomery County, or Philadelphia, etc., and the police officer believes that you have been drinking and driving, the police officer will ask you to take a blood alcohol test. In the southeastern Pennsylvania, especially the Delaware Valley area, most police officers will take you to a local hospital to draw blood, instead of using a breath test.

When you applied for your PA drivers license, you agreed to submit to a blood alcohol test upon a valid request of a police office. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania cannot force you, against your own free will to undergo the blood alcohol test. You can refuse. If you refuse to take the test you face very tough penalties, which include:

For a first offense:
-undergo imprisonment of not less than 72 consecutive hours to 6 months;
-pay a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000;
-attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department
-comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements; and
-one year license suspension

For a second offense:
-undergo imprisonment of not less than 90 days to 5 years;
-pay a fine of not less than $1,500;
-attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department
-comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements; and
-18-month license suspension

For a third or subsequent offense:
-undergo imprisonment of not less than one year to 5 years;
-pay a fine of not less than $2,500
-comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements; and
-18-month license suspension

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDot) is the state agency that suspends your PA drivers license after you refuse to take the PA blood or breath DUI-DWI-DAI test. The court is not involved in the suspension process.

When you refuse to take the blood or breath DUI-DWI-DAI test in PA, the police officer must forward a special notice to PennDot. This special form is called a Notice of Refusal (DL-26).

If you have refused to take the PA DUI-DWI-DAI test, you must pay close attention to all correspondence that you may receive regarding the case. Once PennDot receives notice of the PA DUI-DWI-DAI refusal, it will send an order to the PA DUI-DWI-DAI suspect which states that PennDot will suspend the suspect’s license in 30 days. The PA DUI-DWI-DAI suspect then has 30 days from the correspondence date to appeal PennDots’ suspension.

It is important to act quickly!