The United States Supreme Court has agreed to decided three cases where people were suspected of drunk driving. The suspects’ contention is that the they’re Constitutional Rights were violated.
The question raised by these challenges is whether or not the state can criminally prosecute a motorist for refusing to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test when the police officer does not have a warrant.
In two cases, the defendants are appealing their convictions for the crime of refusing to submit to a test. In the other case, the defendant is challenging the suspension of his driving license.
The question that must be answered is whether there is a Constitutional problem with laws that punish drivers who refuse to submit to a sobriety test simply by suspending their license. Pennsylvania does have a mandatory license suspension for people who refuse to take a blood test. It is known as the Implied Consent Law, which means if you are a Pennsylvania driver, you impliably give consent to the test when you get your license.
Until the court makes a decision, if you are driving through State College or any other town in Centre County and a police officer asks you for a blood sample, refusal to submit will result is the loss of your driver’s license for one year, regardless of whether or not you are subsequently convicted of drunk driving.