Millions of arrests are made each year in the United States for driving under the influence (DUI). In the state of Pennsylvania, a driver can be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or greater. A person’s BAC can be determined with a breathalyzer test. As this test is technology, it can sometimes be flawed and its results can be unreliable. It is because of this that thousands of tests have been thrown out of court during DUI cases. While many people do not consider challenging the results of breathalyzer tests, it can sometimes prevent a conviction. In these situations, it can be beneficial to keep the following in mind:
Can Breathalyzer Tests Be Trusted?
Breathalyzer tests can be unreliable for a few reasons. This may be due to human error or even governmental oversight. In some cases, a lab may skimp on maintenance or make a mistake while setting up the machines. There are issues to be aware of, as it can be dangerous to not determine a correct BAC for a driver on the road.
It is important to be aware of your right to challenge the results of a breathalyzer test. The state of Pennsylvania trusts these tests enough that a driver may receive penalties for failing to take the test. This is done under Pennsylvania’s implied consent law that states any person who drives in the state is deemed to have given consent to either a breath or blood test. Refusing the test can result in license suspension, the installation of an ignition interlock device, reinstatement fees, and more. It is because of this that drivers tend to take the test. With this new information regarding the unreliability of the tests, lawyers are now preparing drivers to challenge these convictions.
DUI Penalties in Pennsylvania
If a breathalyzer determines a driver’s BAC over the legal limit, they may face consequences as a result. Being charged with a DUI in the state of Pennsylvania can detrimentally impact an individual’s future. This is why it is important to explore all defenses, including challenging a breathalyzer test. The consequences of a first offense DUI can include:
- An ungraded misdemeanor
- Probation up to 6 months
- A fine of $300
- Engagement in the alcohol highway safety school
- Possible mandatory treatment
It is important to know that if a driver is a repeat offender or has a High BAC, these penalties can worsen.
Contact our Firm
Attorney Newman has represented clients in Pennsylvania for over 45 years. If you need an experienced attorney to help guide you through the personal injury claims process or with any criminal defense matters, Attorney Newman is ready to help. Contact The Law Office of Neal E. Newman today to schedule a consultation.