Pennsylvania Breathalyzer Test
Before you plead guilty to driving under the influence (DUI) because you failed your breath test, stop, take a deep breath, and contact us. Thanks to his experience with DUI defense, he knows that there are many ways to defend and disprove the so-called “failure” of your breath test results. By conducting an independent investigation into your drunk-driving case, he may discover evidence that can be used for your defense.
First and foremost, the police officer who administered the breath test must be properly trained on that specific machine. For example, officers need to let the machine “warm up” and reach a certain temperature before it will operate correctly. The officer must also make sure that your breath test sample was from deep in your lungs and not just a reading of the alcohol found on your breath, which could have been from mints or even gum!
Assuming that the officer did everything correctly, that does not mean that the machine itself is without problems. Breath test machines must be calibrated properly, cleaned regularly and maintained in perfect working order. Even if the machine was working properly, outside factors can affect your breath test results. Did you know that if you have gum disease, bronchitis, are running a fever, have asthma or a number of different issues, these factors can influence your breath test results? Sometimes if you are breathing in gas or vapors while outside (such as from paint or varnish fumes or other chemicals in the air) this can change your breath test results.
The officer is also required to observe you before you take the test to ensure you do not do anything that might affect the outcome of your test results. If you put on lip balm, had the hiccups, burping, were experiencing heartburn or vomited before the test, this will cause your readings to be higher. Last but certainly not least, breath tests assume a ratio of 2100:1 blood to breath, which may not be scientifically accurate or reliable.
For all of these reasons and more, you should not plead guilty to DUI for failing a breath test without first seeking the advice of an experienced attorney.
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