Recent Supreme Court Ruling to Affect DUI Cases in PA

Supreme Court Ruling Could Help You Keep Your License

A recent ruling by the United States Supreme Court in Birchfield v. North Dakota will change Pennsylvania DUI law in a major way.

Prior to this recent decision, police officers investigating a DUI case were not required to obtain a search warrant to extract blood from an individual under suspicion of DUI for purposes of chemical testing.

The law now says a warrant is required to obtain blood from an individual.

If a warrant was not obtained in your DUI case, the possible penalties you face may have changed. Call the Law Office of Justin J. Ketchel today for a free consultation at 412.456.1221.

How does this ruling affect DUI cases in Pennsylvania?

  • If no warrant was obtained for a blood draw, an individual charged with a first offense DUI with a blood alcohol level (“BAC”) of .16 or higher may now receive NO JAIL time and NO LICENSE suspension as opposed to 72 hours in jail and a one year driver’s license suspension.
  • Prior to Birchfeild, a person facing a second offense DUI with a BAC of .16 or higher faced a mandatory 90 days—5 years imprisonment with a license suspension of 18 months. Now, assuming no warrant was obtained to collect the blood evidence, an individual faces only 5 days—6 months incarceration and a one year license suspension.
  • For a third offense DUI with a BAC of .16 or higher, an accused faces a mandatory state prison sentence of 1-5 years with a license suspension of 18 months followed by an Ignition Interlock for 1 year. If no warrant was obtained for the blood draw, an individual now faces only 10 days—2 years in jail and a license suspension of 12 months followed by an Ignition Interlock for 1 year.

Contact the Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer Justin J. Ketchel today at 412.456.1221 to see whether this new law will affect your Pennsylvania DUI charges.