How to Find a DUI Lawyer in Pennsylvania: Breath Test Machines

In our current series How to Find a DUI Lawyer in Pennsylvania, we are examining what information an average citizen should gather in order to select the best DUI Lawyer.  Here are the topics we have covered so far:

This week we examine the third important question you should ask every lawyer you are considering for your DUI case, “Do you own and know how to operate the breath test machines used by the Police?”

Question #3: Do you own and know how to operate the breath test machines used by the police?

In many DUI cases, the key piece of evidence for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level that is measured by the various breath test machines used by the police.  So wouldn’t it make perfect sense for a DUI Lawyer to have expertise in how these machines work and what the common problems are?  Of course it does.  However, it’s alarming that most DUI attorneys do not have even a basic level of knowledge and certainly not the in-depth knowledge needed to challenge the reading produced by the machine.

At the McShane Firm, part of our expertise in the field of DUI, comes from the extensive training and experience we have with the actual machines the police use to administer roadside tests.  We are also well aware of the common problems these machines have and how they can easily produce false positives.

There are also a great many reasons why the “magic number” produced by these machines can over-report someone’s BAC.

Every attorney in this office is a Certified Breath Alcohol Test Technician as recognized by the United States Department of Transportation. We own and know how to operate the following machines:

  • Intoximeters FST
  • Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer
  • Intoxilyzer SD-5
  • Guth Laboratories Breath Test Simulator
  • BAC National Patent Analytical DataMaster
  • Intoxilyzer 5000EN, Series 66, Series 64
  • Intoxilyzer Pre-Arrest Breath Test SD-2

We have also received training in the AlcoSensor, the RBT IV, the Intoxilyzer 8000, Intoximeters ECIR and many other devices.

The breath test reading is often the most important piece of evidence to the prosecution.  If they can prove your BAC reading then they believe most of the work is done.  This is not the case.  If a truly knowledgeable and contentious lawyer is retained a challenge to the result is very possible or even a grant of suppression as the number reported is invalid can occur.  Oftentimes, without the “magic number”, the confidence in the prosecution obtaining a conviction begins to evaporate.

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Avvo.com. Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.

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