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Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer > Pennsylvania Law > Court extends mandatory DUI blood test requirement to bicyclists

Court extends mandatory DUI blood test requirement to bicyclists

Pittsburgh drivers may be interested in a recent court case that shed some light on the effect of mandatory DUI blood testing. One man has now had his license suspension upheld, despite not driving a car at the time of the incident. Pennsylvania law requires that anyone operating a vehicle must willingly submit to having their blood tested when there is suspicion of driving under the influence. Prior to a 2004 change in the law, only those operating motor vehicles fell under this requirement. The omission of the word “motor,” however, has expanded the reach of this law to those on bicycles and other vehicles. Failure to submit to the test results in a mandatory suspension of the person’s driver’s license for a period of 18 months. This one-word change a decade ago was at issue in a recent Pennsylvania case. The incident in question occurred in late 2012; police stopped a man after he rode a bicycle through a red light. The bicycle rider allegedly refused to submit to a field sobriety test and blood test. The cyclist faced a DUI charge, which was dismissed when he pled no contest to a charge of disorderly conduct. When he was given a mandatory license suspension due to his refusal to give a blood sample, he appealed. Although a driver’s license is not required to ride a bicycle, the Commonwealth Court has now held that cyclists are still subject to the same suspension penalty. A drunk driving conviction can have serious consequences, including license revocation, fines and jail time. A proper DUI defense can help to avoid these consequences and ensure that a person’s rights are respected. An attorney may be able to provide this defense during the plea bargaining process and at trial. Source: Penn Live, “Bicyclists must submit to blood tests in DUI stops or lose their driver’s licenses, Pa. court rules” 29 May 2014

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