Pennsylvania State Police Abandoning Breathalyzer Use

Police Abandon Breathalyzer

DUI stops in Pennsylvania will no longer include breathalyzer tests, at least for the time being. Pennsylvania State Police have announced that they will use blood tests instead.

This change comes after a judge in Dauphin County ruled earlier this month that the Intoxilyzer 5000EN breathalyzer, which is widely used in Pennsylvania, does not give accurate readings above a blood-alcohol reading of 0.15 percent. That means the devices can't be used to determine if someone is intoxicated enough to be persecuted under the state's highest level of DUI impairment statute. The statute requires blood-alcohol readings of 0.16 percent or higher.

The State Police will now only use blood tests that can detect both drugs and alcohol in a driver's system. Some experts say this will lead to more DUI arrests.

Local police can still use breathalyzers for suspected DUIs.

Sources: "Dauphin County judge's ruling on breathalyzer challenge could void thousands of DUI prosecutions." The Patriot News. January 2, 2013.
"Pennsylvania State Police Suspend Use Of Breathalyzers." CBS Philly. January 30, 2013.