Under Pennsylvania’s implied consent law, anyone driving on Pennsylvania roads is presumed to consent to chemical testing. While an individual who is suspected of DUI is permitted to withdraw his or her consent, it can result in civil penalties, such as the loss of his or her license. Recently, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court addressed the issue of whether the provision of the implied consent statute that permits the Commonwealth to introduce evidence of a person’s refusal to submit to a warrantless blood test as proof of knowledge of guilt. If you are charged with a DUI following a refusal to submit to a blood test it is critical to engage an aggressive Pennsylvania DUI defense attorney to assist you in formulating an effective defense.
Facts of the case
Reportedly, the defendant, who was suspected of DUI, was transported to the Lycoming County DUI center. Upon arrival, he was read the PennDOT DL-26 form, after which he refused to submit to a blood draw. He was charged with DUI general impairment. Prior to the trial, the defendant filed a motion to preclude evidence of his refusal to submit to a blood test, which the court denied.
Allegedly, during the trial, the arresting officer testified that the defendant would not submit to a blood test following his arrest. The defendant was convicted after which he filed a motion for reconsideration, arguing that the trial court erred in permitting the Commonwealth to introduce evidence of his refusal to submit to a blood test, arguing that his right to refuse testing was protected by the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The trial court granted the motion. The Commonwealth subsequently filed an interlocutory appeal. The Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed and remanded. The defendant then sought review.