In a landmark decision Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas Judge Lawrence Clark ruled that blood alcohol concentration readings from the widely-used Intoxilyzer 5000EN breathalyzer machine are not accurate above a BAC of .15% or below a BAC of .05%. Furthermore, any readings from any machine manufactured by CMI, Inc. are likely inadmissible based upon the fact that CMI’s own expert testified that they produce their own simulator solutions in house when Pennsylvania state regulations would require the solution to be manufactured by an independent company. This case is persuasive precedent for the entire state of Pennsylvania, but is only binding precedent in Dauphin County (Commonwealth v. Schildt).
There are literally thousands of DUI cases across the state of Pennsylvania that may be affected by this ruling. The eligible cases are ones that are currently pending, or cases that resulted in a plea bargain or conviction within the past 15 months involving a police department that used a breathalyzer. If District Attorney Ed Marsico appeals Clark’s ruling and it is upheld by a higher court, then the decision would become binding precedent for the entire state of Pennsylvania. If you were charged with DUI based on a breathalyzer result from anywhere in the state you should make sure you discuss the need to preserve this issue with your attorney. This case could potentially result in thousands of DUI convictions statewide being reversed, but the best results are likely to be reserved for those who raise this issue in a timely fashion. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, contact a DUI attorney at Fairlie & Lippy today.