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DUI blood-draw refusal may be trial evidence

Police possess a legal arsenal, including blood-alcohol testing, in their prosecution of suspected drunk drivers. In a recent decision, the State Supreme Court ruled that a driver's refusal to submit to a warrantless blood test could be used as evidence in a drunk driving trial.

Supreme Court overturns sobriety checkpoint arrest

Police in Pennsylvania use sobriety checkpoints to conduct random stops of motorists and determine whether they are driving while impaired. Last month, however, the state Supreme Court suppressed evidence in a drunk driving prosecution of a New York motorist because the police departments from 16 different jurisdictions did not comply with laws governing inter-governmental operation of sobriety checkpoints.

How does a portable breathalyzer work?

Police use a battery of tests to support stopping a motorist for driving while intoxicated. A portable breathalyzer test can play a major part in the prosecution of a drunk driving offense. A breathalyzer is an instrument used by police that measures a driver's blood alcohol concentration through the alcohol in their breath. Drivers may pass the test if they ingested alcohol at the rate of one drink per hour. There are several factors that can affect the accuracy of this device.

Police drawing blood in impaired driving cases

Law enforcement has been trying to overcome obstacles with screening motorists for drug-impaired driving after states have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational use and the opioid crisis has grown. Unlike drunk driving, there are no breath-testing devices to measure drivers for drug impairment. Pennsylvania and another eight other states, however, have started programs allowing police to draw blood from motorists to detect drug-impaired driving.

DUI offenders face tough choice

Motorists facing drunk driving charges could be stuck with long term consequences. Now, under a new Pennsylvania law, motorists charged with drunk driving face a difficult choice. They may plead guilty and agree to drive with an ignition interlock device. This device measures the alcohol content of a driver's breath and will prevent the vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking.

Pa. Supreme Court injects itself into DUI blood test refusal

In a drunk driving prosecution, blood test results can be compelling evidence. These tests are also damaging even if a defendant refuses to submit a blood sample. But, the state Supreme Court agreed to review an appeal of a conviction where the motorist refused to submit this sample.

A DUI conviction can be detrimental to a person's future

Most Pennsylvanians know that the laws that the state and federal government have put into place were enacted to protect the rights and safety of all who live in those jurisdictions. Family laws are in place to ensure that relationships are given their legal weight and so that children's needs are not lost during divorces and separations; contract laws are necessary to work out problems when challenges to agreements arise; criminal laws are enacted to deter crime and to punish those who have allegedly violated the laws.

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