Dear PA DUI Attorney: Should I Take a Portable Breath Test?

If I am stopped for a DUI in PA, am I required to Take the Hand-held Breath Test?

A lot of people get into trouble simply for not knowing their rights when stopped for a PA DUI.  Police know this and try to intimidate people into obeying their orders and in the process forgo the protection they have under the law.

If you are stopped under the suspicion of DUI chances are that police offers will order you to step out of the car and take a breath test on their portable device.  You should kindly refuse this request and here are the reasons why:

  1. Under PA DUI law, testing on a hand-held device is completely voluntary and a refusal to do so carries no negative consequences.  The prosecution is not allowed to use this type of refusal as evidence against you in court.
  2. These devices are faulty and lead to many false positives. They are not accurate and are not specific to alcohol meaning that they will mistakenly report a BAC reading even for common substance like simple white bread!
  3. The reading from the portable breath test will help the police to build a case against you.  In essence you are making it easier for them to convict you and harder for yourself to defend these charges.

Please keep in mind there is a difference between refusing to test on the portable roadside device and refusing the official state test on the larger machines at the police station.  Refusing the State Test will result in you being charged with a DUI Refusal (please see the DUI penalties in PA for more details.

If you have any questions about breath testing please call 1-866-McShane to speak with a qualified PA DUI Lawyer.

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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