The law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania regarding warrantless blood draws where an accused is suspected of DUI is currently in flux. The state of the law regarding DUI and warrantless blood draws was illustrated in a three-judge panel in Commonwealth v. Ennels. On March 12, 2016, in Reading, Pennsylvania, a man named John Amonte Ennels was in a motor vehicle accident. Police were contacted because he was trying to leave the scene. When officers conducted a traffic stop of Ennels, there was an overwhelming smell of marijuana and a partially smoked blunt in the vehicle. DUI checkpoint Ennels was charged with DUI and was transported to St. Joseph's Hospital for a blood test. Ennels was read the "DL-26" form and gave his blood 'voluntarily'. However, the DUI form that the officers read to Ennels said that he would face a minimum of 72 hours in jail and a $1,000.00 fine and a maximum of five years in jail and a $10,000 fine if he refused to consent to the blood draw. The court therefore ruled that Ennels's blood sample consent was involuntary.
One of the primary ways for the government to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an accused is guilty of DUI is through the use of chemical testing. Chemical testing composes of two different types of tests. First, the testing of an accused's blood, which is typically drawn at a hospital, and second, the testing of an accused's breath. Defending DUI cases An accused does have the right to refuse chemical testing when he or she is being investigated for a dui, however, refusing to consent to chemical testing will have an adverse effect on an accused's right to possess a driver's license. In Pennsylvania, any criminal defendant who refuses to consent to the chemical testing of his blood when he has been lawfully arrested for the charge of dui will receive at least a one year license suspension of his driver's license.
In Pennsylvania, driving under the influence is a crime that is not taken lightly. For each subsequent DUI offense you are convicted of your penalties will grow harsher and harsher. DUI marijuana If you are being charged with a fourth offense DUI, it is likely that you will be facing a state prison sentence and should have some sort of understanding of the proceedings of the case. The severity of your punishment from a fouth offense DUI relies on which of the three tiers of fourth offense DUIs your case falls under. Out of the three tiers, tier one is the lowest.
There has been a drastic change under Pennsylvania DUI law as a result of the Birchfield ruling and the implications on implied consent. This blog will address DUI implied consent law after Birchfield. Recently, the United States Supreme Court decided a Fourth Amendment case concerning refusal of blood testing after being pulled over for DUI. Birchfield v. North Dakota, 579 U.S. ____ (2016), DUI what's at stake? holds the government may not criminalize a driver's refusal to submit to a blood test without a warrant. The government still can criminalize a driver's refusal to provide a breath sample without a warrant if the officer has reasonable suspicion to believe a driver is under the influence.