A New Pennsylvania State Police Breathalyzer Controversy

Filed under: DUI by Contributor @ August 15, 2013

For whatever reason, Pennsylvania State Police barracks seem to have an issue with maintaining reliable breath test machines that produce valid results. Earlier this year we wrote a blog about results from the Intoxilyzer 5000EN being deemed inadmissible in Dauphin County due to regulations regarding the simulator solution not being followed and other reasons. Now, controversy is coming out of Carbon County regarding the DataMaster DMT.

According to correspondence from Carbon County District Attorney Gary F. Dobias, breath testing calibration requirements were not followed at the Lehighton State Police Barracks between October 25, 2011 and June 22, 2012.

It is currently unclear whether the District Attorney will agree that convictions based upon the affected breath test results should be overturned. The DA noted in his correspondence that “the disposition of [cases] may not be affected by this error, particularly if [the] case involved an A.R.D. or conviction of a non-breath related offense.” From our perspective, this is nonsense as A.R.D. can count as a prior offense in result in months or years of extra jail time in the event of a subsequent offense, license suspensions, and more. If the machines were faulty and the convictions or A.R.D. dispositions were based upon those results then they should be overturned. On the flip side, District Attorney Dobias should be commended for releasing the fact that there was a problem with calibration of the referenced machines.

If you think that you may have been affected by this, contact one of our attorneys for a free consultation today.

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