When a Pennsylvania officer pulls you over for a suspected DUI, the consequences can be severe. One of the key methods that police use to measure BAC is the breathalyzer. Unfortunately, the breathalyzer test may not be completely accurate and could lead to wrongful charges.
What are the penalties of a DUI charge?
DUI charges have three different levels, with each carrying different penalties and consequences. If you have a BAC of .08 to .099%, then it is a charge of general impairment. High BAC is anywhere from a percentage of .10 to .159. The highest BAC charge is .16% and above.
When it comes to your DUI charge, the consequences vary based on the charge and your prior offenses. For instance, if you have no priors, you may see as little as six months’ probation, safety school and a small fine. To have one or more DUI offenses increases your fines and potential jail time, and it may force you to use an ignition interlock system.
How do officers test BAC?
Most often, when an officer pulls you over for a suspected DUI, he or she will ask you to submit to a breathalyzer test. While you can potentially refuse blood alcohol testing, it is more complicated than a simple refusal. Pennsylvania has implied consent laws. This means that when you operate a vehicle, you automatically consent to a BAC test.
Are breathalyzer tests accurate?
The problem with the breathalyzer test is that it is not always accurate; tests may generate false results. If the machine does not undergo regular maintenance, it can completely skew the results. Many factors can affect the test, such as higher body temperatures and different body compositions. In addition, not all breathalyzers can tell the difference between other chemicals in the vicinity. For instance, mouthwash and acid reflux can potentially alter the test’s results.