Breath Test Refusal Attorneys Erie PA

Experienced Pennsylvania DUI Lawyers Help You Fight Breath Test Refusal Charges in Erie County, PA

A lot of people mistakenly believe that they should refuse to take a breath test when asked to do so by PA law enforcement. “If I don’t take the breathalyzer,” they think, “I can’t be charged with drunk driving.” This is absolutely wrong. In fact, if you refuse to take a breathalyzer when asked by police in Pennsylvania, you can still be charged with a DUI based on the officer’s observations of your conduct – and you will also be charged with Breath Test Refusal, which carries severe penalties. That’s because every motorist on the road in PA automatically consents to taking a Breathalyzer simply by virtue of using the roadways. Making matters worse for anyone charged with Breath Test Refusal in Pennsylvania is the fact that it can actually be more difficult for an attorney to challenge a DUI charge without evidence to contest.

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Facing DUI charges and Breath Test Refusal charges in Pennsylvania? Then you need to speak with an experienced drunk driving defense attorney immediately. The knowledgeable DUI lawyers at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. have defended clients charged with Breathalyzer Refusal in Erie County and Crawford County, PA. Fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation about your case.

Breathalyzer Tests in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania law enforcement uses the Intoxilyzer 5000EN, which is more commonly known as a “Breathalyzer” device. The Breathalyzer measures a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC), with a positive breath test indicating a BAC above .08 percent typically resulting in the person being arrested and charged with a DUI. In most instances, a person suspected of being under the influence of alcohol while driving will first be asked to take a Portable Breath Test (PBT) on the side of the road. Although PBT results are not admissible at trial, they can provide police with probable cause to arrest a driver for a DUI.

The results of the second breath test, likely administered at the police station, may be admissible in court as evidence of intoxication. However, police must follow strict protocols when it comes to maintenance of the machine and administration of the breath test. For instance, the breath test operator must be licensed and certified for use, the breath test machine must be regularly calibrated for accuracy, and the breath test must be administered within two hours of the motorist actually operating their car.

Penalties for Breath Test Refusal in Pennsylvania

Anyone who refuses to take a breath test when asked to do so by police in PA will probably be charged with Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test. The same Refusal charges may also be filed against a motorist who declines to take a blood test or a urine test. Additionally, keep in mind that the motorist can still be charged with a DUI even if they refuse breath testing, blood testing, and urine testing.

The penalties for refusing to submit to a breath test in Pennsylvania are straightforward:

  • First Offense: suspension of driver’s license for one (1) year.
  • Second Offense: suspension of driver’s license for 18 months.
  • Third Offense: suspension of driver’s license for 18 months.

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Moreover, the sentences for a Breath Test Refusal conviction and a DUI conviction will be imposed consecutively by the court. This means that the period of your license suspension will essentially last twice as long.

Contact an Experienced DUI Lawyer About Your Erie, PA Breathalyzer Refusal Charges

It is possible to contest a charge for Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test, but doing so will require the assistance of a skilled criminal & DUI defense attorney. The legal team at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. can potentially raise grounds for challenging the police officer’s probable cause to stop your vehicle and test you in the first place. To explore your legal options, or to schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Erie, Meadville, or North East, contact us now.

Personal Injury Case Results


Car accident

At approximately 50 mph, a young woman’s vehicle collided with a truck. Both vehicles were totaled. Client suffered multiple injuries including complex fractures and a myocardial contusion.


Motorcycle Fatality

Client’s husband was killed in a motorcycle accident caused by a careless driver. His underinsured motorist carrier originally denied coverage, based on a policy exclusion, and then offered only half the coverage.

Criminal Defense Case Results

Charges Dropped

DUI, Lane violation & Careless driving

Late at night, a driver turned right at a stop light and crossed into the oncoming lane of traffic. His BAC was over the legal limit. He was charged with DUI, a lane violation and careless driving.

Not Guilty

Sex Offense

An instructor at a local high school was accused by a student of indecent assault on the last day of school. After four days of trial, the jury acquitted the instructor of all charges.


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  • "There aren't enough words to express how elated we are with the end results Attorney Tim George delivered, he went above and beyond our expectations. Attorney George was always prompt in returning phone calls, straight forward about the facts and extremely empathetic with the horrible situation that our son was facing."

  • "Eric Purchase provided clear, logical guidance. He worked to understand the situation and circumstances (in a complicated matter) in order to provide accurate assessments and recommendations. Thrilled to partner with him. Also appreciated his updates on pertinent matters and professional counseling throughout the entire process."

  • "Craig Murphey handled my personal injury claim. He was extremely professional, but also took a personal interest in helping me through a very difficult process. Everyone in the Purchase, George & Murphey office was very kind and helpful. I would recommend Craig Murphey’s services to anyone who might find themselves in need of a top-notch lawyer."

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Mr. George and his entire office staff were very kind and helping me through my first ever experience with the law. He was able to get me exactly what he said he would in the outcome of my trial. The entire staff was very informative and kept me up to date on everything. Very pleased with my experience and would most definately recommend him to others.

Allison, July 8, 2017