Court: No penalty for refusal of warrantless blood testing

Written by The Associated Press | Jan 18, 2017 4:08 AM

FILE PHOTO: (AP Photo/Jessica Kourkounis)

(Harrisburg) -- A state appeals court's recent ruling has set a precedent that Pennsylvania judges cannot penalize drunken driving suspects for refusing to submit to blood testing.

A three-judge Pennsylvania Superior Court panel found earlier this month that a Chester County man was wrongfully disciplined during sentencing for declining the test.

Citing the U.S. Supreme Court's 2016 ruling in Birchfield v. North Dakota, Senior Judge John Musmanno wrote that warrantless blood tests are an unconstitutional invasion of privacy.

The decision stems from the case of Hemant Kohli, who twice refused to have his blood drawn for blood-alcohol level testing after he was arrested for driving under the influence in Caln Township in 2013.

Prosecutors are now advising police to only use Breathalyzer tests on DUI suspects.

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