When you’re charged with drunk driving in Pennsylvania, you have the right to challenge the state’s case. You have a right to a trial. In order to make the most of your constitutional rights, you need to prepare to aggressively fight the evidence against you with your criminal defense attorney team.
How to challenge the breathalyzer result in Pennsylvania
Perhaps the most critical part of any drunk driving case is the breathalyzer result. Also called an Intoxylizer, the breathalyzer test is a chemical test that measures alcohol content in breath. However, even if the police give you a test, you may challenge the results. Here’s how to challenge the breathalyzer result in Pennsylvania:
1. The officer didn’t complete the observation time
An officer must physically observe a person for at least 20 minutes before administering a breathalyzer test. During that time, the officer is checking for anything that might compromise the test like smoking, chewing gum, vomiting or putting something in your mouth. If the officer can’t testify that they observed the person for at least 20 minutes before the test, the test results are invalid.
2. The police didn’t bother to calibrate the breathalyzer machine
Before a police department can use a testing machine, they must calibrate it. A certified officer must calibrate the machine according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. They must also keep logs of their tests. If the police can’t produce these logs, or if they didn’t calibrate the machine properly, your criminal defense attorney can ask the court to throw out the results.
3. There wasn’t probable cause to administer the test
To order you to take a breath test, law enforcement must have probable cause that you’re guilty of drunk driving. They can’t randomly just stop your car. They can’t ask you to take a test based on a hunch. A law enforcement officer must have a reasonable, articulable suspicion of drunk driving in order to give you a breath test in the State of Pennsylvania.
4. There’s a testing discrepancy
Law enforcement must administer a simulator test with a testing solution after each breath test. If the simulator test shows a big discrepancy from what the reading should be, it may invalidate the results of your test. It’s important to hold law enforcement accountable if they don’t perform the required control test.
5. The testing officer wasn’t trained
Each officer who gives tests must be a certified breath test officer. They must attend training in order to learn how to give the tests properly and demonstrate their knowledge. Your criminal defense attorney should quickly object if the state tries to admit the results of a breathalyzer without demonstrating that the law enforcement officer has taken the proper training to give a breathalyzer test.
Pennsylvania drunk driving attorneys who challege breathalyzer tests
Are you facing a drunk driving charge? Our criminal defense attorneys aggressively pursue your case. We challenege breathalyzer test results and pursue all avenues until you get justice. Contact us today for a consultation about your case.