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Challenging Blood and Breathalyzer BAC Results: Putting the Commonwealth's Case to the Test


Not everyDUI arrest starts with erratic or wild driving on the part of the accused. Nor does every DUI arrest end in a crash resulting in severe damage to person or property. Many DUI stops come from traffic stops or encountering police at a DUI checkpoint or roadblock. In these cases, many times the only strong evidence the Commonwealth may have to pursue a DUI conviction is the results of a breathalyzer or blood test. Fortunately for those accused of DUI, an experienced attorney can challenge the results of these tests and potentially get that evidence rendered inadmissible.

Pennsylvania has an implied consent law when it comes to chemical testing for DUI. The Vehicle Code dictates that anyone who operates a vehicle in Pennsylvania is deemed to have consented to a chemical test of their blood when a police officer believes that they are driving under the influence. The police cannot take blood from you by force if you refuse, however your refusal will have consequences. Refusing to take a blood test may result in suspension of a driver's license for at least 12 months, and up to 18 months if aggravating factors apply such as prior DUIs or prior refusals of chemical testing.

Tests of breath must be performed on equipment certified by the Departments of Health and Transportation. The equipment used must be calibrated and tested for accuracy on a regular basis according to regulations. The operator must also be trained and certified to operate this equipment. If two results on a breathalyzer deviate by .02 or more, than that device must be taken out of service. Failure in any of these regards may result in the possible suppression of BAC results

Chemical tests of blood must be performed by a laboratory approved by the Department of Health by someone trained and authorized to do so using equipment prescribed by the Department of Health or by a Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Laboratory. There are multiple procedures in place to ensure an accurate BAC result, and if those standards are not kept the evidence may be inadmissible in a court of law. Many laboratory tests use blood plasma instead of whole blood. Those results must be converted to a whole blood result to be admissible. Mistakes and errors in this conversion may also lead to inadmissibility.

The standards listed above are just the tip of the iceberg. If you or a loved one has been accused of Driving Under the Influence, it is worth your time to consult with an experienced attorney who knows exactly what to look at to challenge the results of a blood or breath test. Attorney Frank Walker has years of experience in the successful challenge and suppression of BAC results in criminal prosecutions. Contact us today at (412) 532-6805.

Attorney Frank Walker of Frank Walker Law is a National Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer and Personal Injury Attorney with offices in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and Morgantown West Virginia. Attorney Walker is also a member of the National College for DUI Defense and qualified as a Pennsylvania Death Penalty Defense Attorney.

If you or someone you love are facing criminal charges or seriously injured in an accident in WV or PA, contact Attorney Frank Walker immediately at 412-532-6805 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for aggressive and experienced Criminal Defense or Representation in a Civil Case.