In Pennsylvania right now you have the right to refuse a breathalyzer or chemical test when you are pulled over for a DUI . . . sort of. You will be given the option to submit or refuse. However, if you refuse, you will suffer a license suspension. More on that elsewhere. The point is that you still have the opportunity to refuse without immediate repercussion or admitting guilt for the DUI. In other states, governments are pushing for a “No Refusal” Policy that strips you of this right.
A “No Refusal” policy would work like this: You are driving home from the bar one night when you come across a sobriety checkpoint. Without the ability to safely avoid the checkpoint, you proceed through. You are stopped and asked to submit to the field sobriety tests. From those tests, the officer thinks you are driving under the influence and asks you to come down to the station for a formal breathalyzer, or go to the hospital and have blood taken. Now, as the law stands at this moment in PA, you technically have a right to say NO, and all you will suffer is a license suspension. However, in states that are instituting the “No Refusal” policy, if you refuse, then the officer will take you into custody and immediately contact a judge to obtain a search warrant forcing you to give a blood sample. If you Blood Alcohol Content is above 0.08%, you are arrested on the spot.
This is just another way for the government to take away your rights. In essence, under this new policy, you have NO RIGHT to say “no” to a breathalyzer. What does this mean for you???? Well, if you are pulled over, and an officer asks you to give a sample, you HAVE TO SAY YES!!!!!!
Texas has taken this to a whole new level. In parts of Texas, they literally have a judge sitting at the Sobriety Checkpoints. If you refuse a breathalyzer, the officer walks you over to the judge, where he signs a search warrant ordering you to submit. If you do not, you are in contempt of court and will go to jail.
Thankfully, Pennsylvania, and more importantly, Pittsburgh, does not have this policy. So, for now, be thankful for the rights you do have when it comes to DUIs.
For the official article from MSNBC, click HERE
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