If you have a Pennsylvania driver’s license, you probably already know the commonwealth has some of the toughest penalties in the country for driving under the influence of alcohol. You may not realize, though, that by driving on public roadways, you have given your implied consent for officers to test your blood alcohol concentration.
Officers usually use a breath testing device to determine whether drivers have BACs beyond Pennsylvania’s 0.08% legal limit. They also may request a blood or urine sample to measure your BAC even more accurately.
Alcohol’s staying power
According to the Cleveland Clinic, alcohol has the potential to be detectable in a urine sample for up to 130 hours after heavy drinking. If you only have a drink or two, though, traces of alcohol are likely to disappear considerably more quickly.
Everyone processes alcohol a bit differently. Therefore, you should not assume your body metabolizes alcohol in the same way or during the same time frame as your friends’ bodies. Your overall health, weight, height and drinking patterns are likely to influence the way your body handles booze.
Your legal rights
Even though you have already agreed to give officers a sample of your breath, blood or urine, they cannot force you to comply. Indeed, you have a right to refuse to provide samples for testing. If you do, though, you may face some serious penalties, including possibly losing your driving privileges.
While it can be daunting to face DUI charges, you should not let your BAC at the time of your arrest dissuade you from exploring all your legal options. Ultimately, there may be some ways to avoid both a conviction and the penalties that come with one.