Dear Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer: Breath Machine Accuracy

Every Friday we take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about Pennsylvania DUI so we can clear up any misconceptions and provide you with the most up-to-date and accurate information about Pennsylvania DUI laws and related topics. Today:

Dear Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer,

I was charged recently with a DUI after the portable breath machine showed a BAC of .12. I only had a couple of drinks and that was over an hour before I drove.

In short, there are many issues with the breath machines used by the police in Pennsylvania. These machines would never be used by a scientist to measure blood alcohol because they are not specific to alcohol and if not calibrated correctly can create woefully inaccurate results.  Besides, unlike the full evidentiary breath test devices, the ones used at roadside are not admissible under Pennsylvania law to prove a person’s BAC at trial.  It can only be used if there is reasonable suspicion of DUI by the officer and only for purposes of determining whether or not there was enough probable cause to arrest someone and only if properly calibrated, maintained and properly used.

The truth is you need an experienced Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer who is specifically trained on these machines and can expose their weaknesses and flaws.  All of the attorneys at The McShane Firm are certified as instructors on all of the breath machines used by police in central Pennsylvania.  We own most of the machines the police use and can challenge faulty results with knowledge and experience.

If you would like to ask a question, please submit it via the contact us link.

Justin McShane

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 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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