DUI Breath Tests
When a driver is stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence, he or she likely will be asked to submit to a chemical test. Most often, a breath test will be used to determine if a person has consumed alcohol and if he or she is intoxicated.
If the results of the breath test show the person has a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.08, he or she would be considered legally intoxicated, no matter the level of a person’s impairment. Drivers in Pennsylvania have the right to refuse the test, but there could be consequences.
West Chester DUI Breath Test Defense Lawyer
If you agreed to submit to a breath test after a DUI stop and blew more than the legal limit of 0.08, contact a DUI breath test attorney at Ciccarelli Law Offices. Our firm has years of experience in DUI cases, and they are educated on the complexities of chemical testing.
If your BAC was more than the legal limit you may feel like there is no way out. Our attorneys can examine the facts of your case and help you build a strong defense. Chemical results are not always accurate, and an experienced attorney can challenge the results. Your future is a priority, and we will handle your case with the utmost importance.
Ciccarelli Law Offices represents clients throughout Chester County, Lancaster County, Montgomery County, Delaware County and Philadelphia County who have been accused of drunk driving and refusal to submit to chemical testing. Call (610) 719-3200 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Information about DUI Breath Tests
- Pennsylvania Implied Consent Laws
- O’Connell Warnings in Pennsylvania
- Issues with Breath Test Results
Pennsylvania is an implied consent state, similar to several other states. This means when drivers get behind the wheel they have implied consent to submit to a chemical test after a DUI arrest. This chemical test could be a blood, urine or breath test.
When a breath test is issued it must be performed within two hours from the time of driving. The test also must be performed on devices approved by the Department of Health using procedures prescribed jointly by regulations of the Departments of Health and Transportation.
Additionally, the devices should have been calibrated and tested for accuracy within a period of time and in a manner specified by regulations of the Departments of Health and Transportation. There also should be a log indicating it was tested.
The test also must be performed by a qualified person, meaning someone who has fulfilled the training requirement in the use of the equipment in a training program approved by the Departments of Health and Transportation. If any of these steps are not followed correctly, the results of the test could be considered inaccurate.
When a driver is stopped on the suspicion of drunk or drugged driving the law enforcement officer is required to read the implied consent warning, also known as the “O’Connell Warning.” This warning is to inform drivers that they are being arrested for being under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance while operating a vehicle.
The warnings also tell drivers they are being asked to submit to a chemical test and that refusal could mean having his or her driving privileges revoked for at least a year and up to 18 months if there was a refusal in the past.
The warnings also explain that if a person refuses the test and is later convicted of a the DUI he or she would face harsher penalties, the same as if the driver would have been convicted of driving under the influence of the highest rate of alcohol. This could include a minimum of 72 consecutive hours in jail and a minimum fine of $1,000, up to five years in jail and a up to a $10,000 fine.
One of the most significant parts of the O’Connell Warnings is that a driver does not have the right to an attorney before deciding whether to submit to testing and any request to speak with an attorney or after being provided these warnings or remaining silent when asked to submit to chemical testing will constitute a refusal.
The requirement to read the warnings to drivers after a DUI stop is the result of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department Of Transportation, Bureau of Traffic Safety v. Patrick M. O’Connell. In this case, O’Connell did not submit to a breath test because he believed he had the right to an attorney.
DUI arrests can feel overwhelming, but there still could be defenses to the charges. The breath test machine used in Pennsylvania, called the Intoxilyzer 5000EN, does not always produce accurate results. There are occasions in which procedure was not followed correctly and the results could be skewed.
An attorney can examine your case and determine what defenses could apply. For instance, if the test was not executed properly or the arresting officer did not read you the appropriate O’Connell warnings during the stop, a skilled DUI attorney could fight to have the charges reduced or even dropped.
Finding the Best DUI Breath Test Defense Attorney in Chester County
If you are facing charges of DUI or refusal to submit to a chemical test, contact a skilled DUI defense lawyer at Ciccarelli Law Offices. Our attorneys have extensive experience when it comes to defending clients in these situations, and they can help you combat the charges. They will work one-on-one with clients to fight for a favorable outcome. Call (610) 719-3200 for a free consultation.