Friday, August 19, 2011

The Constitutionality of DUI Refusal Charges

Americans are endowed with certain natural and unalienable rights that guarantee them due process and protection from unfair treatment, as well as protection from the law. Believing this to be violated, many are now protesting the policy of DUI refusal charges.
To understand why some oppose this type of charge, one must first understand what a DUI refusal charge is. This charge would include:

  • If one indicates that, they will take the breath test, but then fails to blow enough air into the machine to register a reading.
  • If one refuses to answer after the arresting officer asks you to submit to a DUI breath test
  • If one agrees to take the breath test, blows into the machine once, but then fails to blow into the machine a second time
  • If one becomes argumentative or abusive to the arresting officer
  • If one plainly refuses to take the test
If one is convicted of refusing a DUI test refusal charge, consequences can be steep. It is considered a criminal charge in a number of states. License suspension, fines, and community service can be mandates because of a DUI refusal. Additionally, it can compound charges being levied due to a DUI charge.
The constitutionality of this type of charging has been under fire, as many believe that it violates not only the Fifth Amendment but also the Miranda rights. They believe that as the accused does not have council in the event they can be mislead into providing test results and self-incriminating.
This self-incrimination, they argue, is prohibited by the Fifth Amendment expressly. Many others complain of police brutality or a mishandling of special situations, like medical conditions leading to this charge, which, they argue, they were bullied into accepting. If you believe your DUI charges were handled unfairly, you should seek legal representation from an experienced Philadelphia DUI Lawyer to ensure your rights are protected.
Despite objections related to DUI refusal charges, the Constitution and other United States laws protect the process. The results of the blood alcohol test are considered real or physical evidence, and as such do not receive protection under the Fifth Amendment. Simply put, as the results of the test are not constitutionally protected evidence, refusal to submit to a blood alcohol test is not a constitutionally protected right.
In addition, the practice of DUI refusal charges are included in implied consent. The idea is that driving an automobile on public roadways is a privilege, not a right. A drives agrees to certain restrictions of their rights in exchange for this privilege.
The rationale is that, because of the potential danger that operating a motor vehicle poses toward public safety, some limits must be placed on the rights of automobile drivers in order to protect the overall public's right to safety.
Implied consent laws deem that any driver, by the very act of diving on public roadways, has given consent to submit to an approved chemical test of the driver's breathe, urine, or blood. In spite of these laws, the argument of DUI refusal charges will continue indefinitely as it challenges the parameters of the Fifth Amendment.

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