Supreme Court Changes Rules for Police in DUI Arrests Just Ahead of July 4th Weekend

DUI Law UpdateGenerally, there are three ways that a police officer can test you for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) during a traffic stop. They can sample your breath, blood, or urine, however breath and blood are by far the most common methods used. In addition, all states have an implied consent law, which means that by driving on the road, you have agreed to submit to BAC testing. The implied consent laws also lay out punishments for refusing to submit to BAC testing.

The Birchfield case dealt with the North Dakota and Minnesota laws which criminalized the refusal to submit to BAC testing. In Pennsylvania, there are civil penalties for refusing to submit to BAC testing, but the refusal to submit to BAC testing is not a separate crime.

The Supreme Court decided that police officers were allowed to test your breath without first applying for a warrant when they arrest you. However, the Court held that because North Dakota and Minnesota made it a crime to refuse testing, they could not force you to submit to blood testing. It is important to know that in Pennsylvania, if you refuse blood testing, you can have your license suspended and other civil penalties may apply. The Court specifically said that these types of civil penalties are constitutional.

If you or anyone you know has any questions concerning a DUI arrest or prosecution, please feel free to contact us. We are experienced attorneys and can help you navigate the criminal justice system.

Posted on July 2, 2016, in Alcohol, Criminal Law, Drugs, DUI, Family Law, Minor, Search & Seizure, Underage Drinking and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Supreme Court Changes Rules for Police in DUI Arrests Just Ahead of July 4th Weekend.

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