Will You Lose Your License by Refusing a Breathalyzer or Blood Test After a DUI Arrest in Pennsylvania?

What Happens to Your License if you Refuse to Take a Breath or Blood Test in PA?

refuse breath or blood test dui pennsylvania

It may go without saying that many people who are charged with DUI are not thinking clearly when they are pulled over by the police. This sometimes results in a refusal to take a breathalyzer or a blood test after the DUI arrest, which can further complicate life down the road. The biggest complication for many is the loss of a driver’s license.

Refusing a breathalyzer or chemical blood test after a DUI arrest is not the same as refusing a portable breath test that police may carry in their car and ask you to take BEFORE your arrest. These tests are often to determine if you have alcohol on your breath and are not accurate or admissible in court.

If you refuse a breathalyzer or a blood test after a DUI arrest in PA, your license can be suspended both for the refusal and for the DUI. This means you could face two separate license suspensions: one suspension for the refusal, and the other for the DUI conviction.

Even if you end up getting accepted into the ARD program for your DUI charge, or receive a Not Guilty verdict, you can still face a license suspension for refusing chemical testing after the arrest.

If this has happened to you or your loved one, the first thing you can do is contact a DUI Attorney in Pennsylvania. Ketchel Law offers free consultations for anyone charged with DUI in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania.

Call 412-456-4221 for a free legal consultation about your DUI case.

What is the difference between refusing a breathalyzer and refusing a blood test?

If you refuse a breathalyzer after a DUI arrest, you will be facing a license suspension for the refusal and your DUI will be graded as the highest tier DUI. (Read more about BAC level Tiers)

The reason for the highest tier grading is because a warrant is not necessary for police to test your breath. On the other hand, the police must have a warrant to get a blood sample. If you refuse to give a blood sample and the police do not get a warrant, then your DUI will likely be graded as a lowest tier DUI, general impairment. However, you will still face a license suspension for the refusal.

dui refusing a chemical test in pa - license suspension

In either case, a refusal will mean an automatic license suspension from PennDOT. If you refuse, or the police say you refused, you will receive a letter from PennDot stating that your license will be suspended. This is true even if you are never charged criminally for DUI or if you win your DUI case. You will have thirty days from the date of the suspension letter to file an appeal of your suspension.

When you are issued a license by PennDOT, you have already signed an agreement to consent to taking a breath or blood test. By violating that agreement, you face the penalties of a license suspension, as the bare minimum.

Can a DUI Lawyer Help If I Refused a Chemical Test or Breathalyzer?


The stakes for a DUI conviction are high if you refused a breathalyzer or chemical test, but an attorney can help you better understand your options. No situation is ever hopeless – there is always a chance you could get the penalties reduced and filing a license suspension appeal may help delay a license suspension.

An Arrest is NOT a Conviction.

It is very helpful to have an experienced PA DUI Lawyer explain the charges, your rights and help walk you through the process. A DUI Lawyer can also help explain when you will be eligible for Ignition Interlock suspension process, so you can begin driving again.

If you were charged with DUI in Western Pennsylvania, call Ketchel Law at 412-456-1221 for a free consultation.



Call 412-456-1221 for a free consultation

If you have been charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania, contact Ketchel Law today.

Our number one goal is to have your charges dismissed and your record clean.

Learn more about DUI Laws in Pennsylvania



We offer free legal consultations to anyone charged with a crime in Western Pennsylvania. Call us at 412-456-1221 today to find out how we can help defend your rights.

Learn more about Ketchel Law:








Can Medical-Marijuana Users Be Charged with DUI in Pennsylvania?

Medical Marijuana and DUI Law in Pennsylvania

As more and more people in Pennsylvania can more easily obtain a Medical Marijuana Card, what happens when they are pulled over for DUI? As the law currently stands, even if a person is legally allowed to consume marijuana, they could still face DUI charges, even while not impaired at the time of arrest.

medical marijuana dui laws pennsylvania

Since trace amounts of marijuana (metabolites) can be found in a blood test for up to 30 days – even if a person did not consume in the last 24 hours – they could still face the same penalties as a person with a High Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level.

Even if you were using marijuana as prescribed and are not high or impaired at the time of an arrest, you can be charged with DUI.

In late 2020, lawmakers in the Pennsylvania House voted to amend the DUI law to decriminalize trace amounts of marijuana for legal medical-marijuana users. However, the Pennsylvania State Senate has yet to take measures to move the amendment forward and get it to the Governor’s desk. The amended bill states that an individual may not drive under a controlled substance with the exception of “marijuana used lawfully in accordance with the act of April 17, 2016, known as the Medical Marijuana Act.”

Even if this law were to go into effect, there are still exceptions, however. For instance, if a person demonstrates impairment or is driving recklessly, they can still be charged with DUI.

If used safely, medical marijuana should not impair a driver, especially if they are not using it at the time of arrest. As medical marijuana is legal for card holders, they should not be punished just because law makers have not passed appropriate laws or kept up with new laws. The tests also cannot monitor if someone currently is high, or how much they have consumed recently – they can only decipher whether a person has used marijuana in the past 30 days or so.

Even so – as it currently stands – penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana could mean up to a year of license suspension, six months of jail time and a large fine, for a first-time DUI arrest. In Pennsylvania, the odor of marijuana can be enough for the police to pull a person over for DUI.

Until the State Senate passes the bill to amend the DUI law, there is a possibility of being charged with DUI. However, the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons recently established an expedited review program for non-violent marijuana offenders in Pennsylvania. Under this program, people who are legally allowed to use medicinal marijuana and who have been charged with DUI, are eligible to apply for a pardon.

If you were charged with DUI in Pennsylvania or are facing marijuana charges or other drug charges, contact our experienced Pittsburgh DUI and Drug Lawyers for a free consultation. Our attorneys can either help you apply for a pardon or fight the charges, depending on your circumstances.

If the cops catch you, call Ketchel



Call 412-456-1221 for a free consultation

If you have been charged with a crime in Pennsylvania, contact Ketchel Law today.

Our number one goal is to have your charges dismissed and your record clean.

Learn more about Marijuana Laws in Pennsylvania



We offer free legal consultations to anyone charged with a crime. Call us today to find out how we can help defend your rights.

Learn more about Ketchel Law:

PPE Fraud in Pennsylvania

Investigations for Fraud Related to COVID-19 Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is on the Rise

Fraud and scams for personal protective equipment (PPE) and Covid-19 testing are on the rise—what are Pennsylvania legislators doing to prevent it?

PPE Fraud—Pennsylvania
Medical bandages and gloves on a blue background.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the demand for personal protective equipment and other medical supplies to rise significantly.  As a result, government authorities expect to see a rise in fraudulent activity, such as stockpiling supplies with the intention of selling them and making a profit, selling counterfeit or faulty medical products while making misleading statements about their effectiveness, and making false statements to the government to secure COVID-19 related assistance or contracts.

To combat this risk of fraud, President Trump issued an executive order which among other things prohibits the hoarding of designated items and criminalizes the accumulation of designated items in excess of reasonable personal need, or for the purpose of selling the items for exorbitant prices. The list of designated items, as identified by the Department of Health and Human Services, includes masks, ventilators, medical gowns, gloves, and other personal protective equipment (known as “PPE”).

The U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) is prioritizing the investigation and prosecution of perpetrators of PPE-related fraud.  As Attorney General William Barr noted in his memo to each U.S. Attorney’s office, the DOJ “will aggressively pursue bad actors who amass critical supplies either far beyond what they could use or for the purpose of profiteering.”

The DOJ has also created one nationwide federal law enforcement task force, the “COVID-19 Hoarding and Price Gouging Task Force,” which announced the arrest of a man who attempted to sell $750 million in nonexistent PPE to the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Under the federal False Claims Act (the “FCA”), substantial penalties may be imposed on persons and companies who defraud governmental programs.

In addition, the President’s executive order makes violations punishable by fines of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to one year. 

Pennsylvania Legislation to Combat PPE Fraud

In addition to the federal government’s efforts, state law enforcement authorities have formed task forces to investigate and prosecute these types of cases.  In Pennsylvania, Scott W. Brady, United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro formed the Western Pennsylvania COVID-19 Fraud Task Force, which brings together federal and state investigative agencies and prosecutors to combat PPE fraud in Pennsylvania.  The task force has set up a dedicated toll-free hotline and dedicated e-mail addresses for the public to report suspected COVID-19 related fraud.

Learn more about the task force from WPXI news.

Pennsylvania currently does not have a false claims statute in place.  However, in September 2020, the Commonwealth Fraud Prevention Act (CFPA) was introduced in the Pennsylvania Senate which is inspired by the FCA. If signed into law, the CFPA would form an essential part of the state’s plan to fight fraud related to COVID-19 stimulus funds, as well as other state programs.

What Happens if You Are Charged with PPE Fraud in Pennsylvania? 

A federal or state investigation for PPE fraud can lead to severe civil and criminal penalties and imprisonment.

You should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney and fraud lawyer who is successful in winning cases involving healthcare fraud and PPE fraud.

An aggressive attorney can navigate the investigation process and any litigation process on your behalf and give you the best chance at avoiding a negative outcome on your case.





If you have been charged with fraud in Pennsylvania, contact Ketchel Law today. Our number one goal is to have your charges dismissed and your record clean.



We offer free legal consultations to anyone charged with a crime. Call us today to find out how we can help defend your rights.

Learn more about Ketchel Law: