DUI breath testing halted in PA

Following a Dauphin County court ruling, the Pennsylvania State Police have suspended use of breath testing in DUI cases. Blood samples will be drawn instead. This method is more cumbersome and more intrusive for suspects, and also consumes more police time and resources, but has the advantage of adding drug detection to the results. Other agencies in the state are considering their responses, and defense attorneys are looking at past cases for possible appeals.



5 Responses to “DUI breath testing halted in PA”

  1. Ashley Says:

    This doesn’t have much practical effect in our area. Lehigh and Northampton Counties operate DUI central processing centers used by all police agencies, including PSP, and the centers exclusively use blood testing.
    Also, it’s my understanding the trial court decision will be appealed…stay tuned.

  2. Gary Cordner Says:

    I see that Kentucky has suspended its breathalyzer re-certification training for 2013. Seems like this is, or will be, a national issue or trend. The blood draw — is it just a finger tip jab or something more? The breathalyzer method has (had) obvious advantages — immediate results, non-invasive, no lab costs, no requirement for testimony from lab personnel. But then officers had to be trained to use the equipment (hidden costs) and the equipment itself obviously had a cost. I wonder how the actual relative costs work out on a case-by-case basis?

  3. Ashley Says:

    The legal blood draw at a DUI processing center is virtually identical to a medical blood draw. The actual draw is performed by a phlebotomist, who fills a standard size tube.
    We aren’t involved with the costs, so I can’t speak to that aspect.

  4. Gary Cordner Says:

    How often are the phlebotomist and lab tech called to testify?

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