The Truth About Portable Breath Tests

I have written about breath testing numerous times on this blog and have shown how they are error prone, inaccurate, and non-specific to ethanol.  In short, they are ridiculous.

These are the problems that plague the more advanced, state authorized, stationary, breath testing machines. So what about the portable versions?  The technology is even worse.  It is so bad that the results of a portable breath test (PBT) are not even admissible in most trial courts in the United States.  However, they are used all over the country by police officers who may not be trained to use them and blindly believe in their validity and usefulness.

Fellow forensic science lawyer Attorney Josh Lee and I  recently researched and penned an article for The Voice which is the publication for the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.  The article is titled: Portable Breath Testers: A Potentially Dangerous Non-Specific and Non-Selective Measure at Roadside.  In this article we detail the main problems with PBTs which can lead to false arrests and false convictions.

This is a widespread problem that lawmakers and the general public need to be aware of so that false accusations and false convictions do not happen.  All of us are at risk for being falsely arrested because of bad breath testing technology.  In Pennsylvania, we have fought many cases where the PBT showed  what appeared to be a guilty blood alcohol number where the driver had nothing to drink at all.  In fact, I have shown that simply eating white bread can produce a positive result.  It is time that we all take notice of this public hazard and do something to correct this and save innocent people from being arrested. Let’ insist that the police be properly trained.

Don’t let a false arrest turn into a false conviction! If you are arrested for a DUI and have breath test evidence against you, it is important that you hire an attorney who has extensive training in breath test technology and can challenge this evidence in court.  For a free consultation, please call 1-866-MCSHANE.

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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