In most DUI cases, the Commonwealth will rely on the results of a blood or breath test to support the argument that the defendant was operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Under Pennsylvania implied consent law, drivers are deemed to agree to submit to breath tests and can face penalties for refusing to do so. Blood draws taken absent valid consent may constitute unreasonable search and seizures, though, and the results of such tests may be deemed inadmissible. In a recent Pennsylvania opinion issued in a case in which the defendant’s motion to suppress the results of a blood test were denied, a court discussed what constitutes valid and knowing consent to submit to a blood test. If you are charged with a DUI crime based on the results of a blood test, it is prudent to meet with a Pennsylvania DUI defense attorney to evaluate your potential defenses.
The Defendant’s Blood Test
It is reported that the defendant was involved in an accident while driving his motorcycle. The officer investigating the accident found that the defendant’s breath smelled of alcohol, and his demeanor indicated that it was likely that he had consumed a sufficient amount of alcohol to be rendered unable to drive safely. The defendant was transported to the hospital and was given fentanyl on the way there.
Allegedly, once the defendant was at the hospital, his blood was drawn, and testing revealed his BAC to be .096%. He was charged with numerous DUI charges and, prior to trial, filed a motion to suppress the results of the blood test, arguing that he did not provide knowing consent to the test. He was convicted on each count, after which he appealed. Continue reading