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Alleged drunk driving and alcohol test refusal lead to new fee

For those who are stopped and suspected of driving while intoxicated in Pennsylvania, a major question is whether they should take a blood or breath test. A new state law regarding drunk driving may change how individuals in these situations respond to breath or blood test results. According to the state law, which will go into effect on Jan. 11, there is a brand-new fee for those who refuse to submit to blood alcohol testing.

This new fee comes on the heels of a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that police are not allowed to secure blood samples if they do not have consent or warrants. With the new law, police can simply use the threat of a fee to motivate people to undergo testing, without necessarily having to worry about obtaining consent or warrants first. The new fee is for restoring a driver's license and may run as high as $2,000.

For the fee, a person will have to pay $500 the first time he or she refuses a test. A second refusal will earn the person a $1,000 fee, and every subsequent one will lead to a $2,000 fee. Police officers are required by law to tell those suspected of drinking and driving about these costs during police stops.

Being pulled over in Pennsylvania for possibly drinking and driving can understandably be scary. However, being arrested for drunk driving can be even scarier, as a charge can lead to a conviction. A conviction may result in fines, jail time and even trouble with getting jobs in the future. However, a qualified attorney can help to ensure that a defendant's rights are protected and will pursue the most personally favorable outcome for him or her considering the circumstances of his or her case.

Source: poconorecord.com, "Fee for refusing breathalyzer test among new Pennsylvania laws for 2018", Matthew Santoni, Jan. 2, 2018

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Skala Miller, PLLC, Attorneys at Law

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