In Pennsylvania, defendants face dramatic sentencing enhancements for DUI when the defendant also fails to submit to chemical testing. In a recent Pennsylvania case, a person was convicted of refusal in a case based on his conduct. On appeal, the Superior Court reversed the conviction for the DUI – refusal.
In that case, the officer testified that after the arrest, the officer was transporting the defendant to the hospital for blood testing. On the way to the hospital, the defendant was acting belligerent by screaming, cursing, and attempting to kick out the windows and partition in the police car. The officer testified that because of this behavior, the officer did not even attempt to read the implied consent warning.
The Court held that this was a fatal error on the officer’s part. In order for someone to be convicted of refusal, the officer must read, or attempt to read, the implied consent and can only stop if the defendant expressly refuses or the defendant’s behavior prevents the officer from finishing the implied consent.