PA DUI Attorney: Breathalyzers Make Mistakes Too

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Pennsylvania DUI Attorney with Offices in Erie, Edinboro and Warren PA

Being charged with a DUI is a serious offense that can take away your freedom, your job, and your life. With what's at stake, you would think that your livelihood would not be dependent on inaccurate data. Well, the Pennsylvania State Police no longer uses breathalyzers at DUI checkpoints after a ruling that saw 20 peoples' DUI charges dropped because of inaccurate data received from the Intoxilyzer 5000. The use of the device was banned in 2013 by the Pennsylvania State Police.

What is an Intoxilyzer 5000?

The Intoxylyzer 5000 is a bulky device that requires police officers to bring the accused DUI offender back to the police station for testing. In that time, a person's blood-alcohol level content (BAC) can drop below the legal limit, allowing them to avoid the DUI charges altogether.

Inaccuracy of BAC Data from Outdated Equipment

The Intoxilyzer 5000 has been in use for over 20 years and operates under its own margin of error 'most of the time' which means that 'some of the time' it does not. The unit has flaws, and your penalties or conviction can hinge on the data received from this archaic device.

Some factors that can skew the results of the Intoxilyzer 500 include:

Diabetes - Acetone on the breath can lead to false-positive readings on a breathalyzer, and certain diabetic conditions increase the presence of acetone on a person's breath. This is due to the fact that the device uses infrared light to determine a person's BAC level. The acetone present in some diabetics absorbs the same infrared light as alcohol does - leading to a false-positive result.

Acid Reflux - People suffering from chronic heartburn understand how stomach acids can be trapped in the esophagus for extended periods of time. What this means is, a person with acid reflux can have alcohol on their breath long after the effects have worn off. A sober person may be charged with DUI with the right set of circumstances.

DUI Arrests are a Problem Throughout Pennsylvania

11,805 accidents were caused by intoxicated drivers in Pennsylvania in 2011, leading to over 400 deaths. According to PennDOT, an alarming 26 percent of drunk drivers are 16-20 years of age.

Pennsylvania DUI Statistics

  • Drunk drivers in PA cause an average of 1.2 deaths and 23 injuries every day
  • 32 alcohol-related traffic accidents occur per day in Pennsylvania
  • 33 percent of all traffic fatalities in PA are alcohol-related

Pennsylvania DUI Defense Attorneys in Erie, Edinboro and Warren PA

The Travis Law Firm has a long reputation for fighting for the rights of those facing DUI charges. From our offices in Erie, Edinboro, and Warren PA, we have defended the freedom of hundreds of clients suspected of DUI. We know how important it is to have accurate data in any DUI case. If you are charged with a DUI, you owe it to yourself to protect your rights by speaking directly to a PA DUI Attorney at The Travis Law Firm. Our DUI Attorneys offer a confidential free case evaluation to get started right away.