Getting charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania is a serious event that affects many areas of your life. You face high fines, loss of your driver’s license and potential jail time. A DUI conviction could also affect your career or reputation among family and friends.
Although there are potential defenses to a DUI charge, you may assume that if you took a breath and the results showed that you were above the legal limit for alcohol consumption, that you have no defense.
This is not true. While Pennsylvania DUI law is strict, the prosecutor must prove the DUI charge beyond a reasonable doubt, and that includes proving that the breath test results are accurate.
Was the breath test working properly?
There are many things that could cause a breath test result to show an incorrect reading. Some of these involve the breath device itself.
The breath test must be working properly, which usually means it must be correctly calibrated before the test was performed. Any evidence that a breath test was administered to you incorrectly or that the breath test was tampered with after the test could cause the results to be thrown out as evidence.
Were you on any medications?
Your health could be a factor in breath test results. Certain medical conditions, or specific types of medication, can cause incorrect breath test readings. Even minor things, such as having a fever when the test was performed, can affect the result.
Was the stop itself legal?
Depending on the facts of your case, you could challenge the DUI stop itself. Police must have reasonable suspicion that you were driving under the influence to pull you over for a DUI, and probable cause to arrest you.
Criminal defense attorneys understand the required elements of reasonable suspicion and probable cause and can examine your situation and see if any of these elements were missing, or if any other potential defenses are available to you.