PA DUI Implied Consent Law post Birchfield..

PA DUI Implied Consent Law post Birchfield v. United States:  A Series, Part I…

In June of 2016, the United States Supreme Court changed the way DUIs are handled all over the United States.  They held that it is a violation of a person’s 4th Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures to make them give a blood sample without a warrant.  The case was Birchfield v. North Dakota and it reaffirmed that taking a person’s blood is a search, and absent exigent circumstances (circumstances that require immediate aid or action) a person may not be searched unless the police get a warrant.

As recently as January 31, 2017, The Superior Court in Pennsylvania in a case called Commonwealth v. Giron, applied the holding in Birchfield and stated “absen[t]… a warrant or exigent circumstances justifying a search, a defendant who refuses to provide a blood sample when requested by police is not subject to the enhanced penalties provided in [the DUI law].”

First to get a better understanding of DUI law in Pennsylvania. check out our blog post entitled “DUI: What Happened? What Now?”  https://goo.gl/D2dZ2T.

What does this mean for Pennsylvania drivers and those accused of DUI in Pennsylvania?  Title 75 of the Vehicle Code Section 3804 is the law in Pennsylvania that establishes the specific penalties corresponding to the blood alcohol level for people convicted of DUI.   https://goo.gl/hq4cxZ.  This section also instructs the courts that a person convicted of a “refusal” should be punished with the exact same penalty as a person with the highest blood alcohol level.  Since the Superior Court ruled that a person who refuses a blood test (which is a person’s constitutional right) is subjected to enhanced penalties, the sentencing requirements are unlawful under Pennsylvania law.  This however does not mean that a person is free and clear.  Pennsylvania DUI laws are not only some of the strictest in the country, but also very confusing.  Law enforcement is adapting to this ruling and changing the way they handle DUI arrests.  With the change in the law it is more important than ever to discuss any DUI charges with a competent DUI lawyer so that you can receive the best possible outcome.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, you need to hire an experienced attorney NOW.  At DiMuzio Zerounian, LLC we have the experience and the knowledge to guide you through all aspects of this serious and very trying process.  Call our offices for a free consultation 267.479.4044.

Recommended Posts