A judge’s ruling in a Pennsylvania DUI case has officials reevaluating cases not only in that county, but across the state and may have implications on even a larger scale.
Judge Lawrence F. Clark Jr. ruled that breathlyzer machines used by law enforcement to measure the intoxication level of drivers cannot be accurate beyond a blood-alcohol reading of 0.15 percent.
In Pennsylvania, that means breathlyzers alone cannot be used to prosecute drivers under the highest level of DUI penalties. That decision may affect tens of cases and may have judges reevaluting hundreds or thousands more.
The breathlyzer in question is the popular Intoxilyzer 5000EN, which the judge referred to as extremely questionable.
According to reports, testimony in the case showed the judge the machines, due to state regulations, are not properly calibrated and therefore not reliable to give accurate blood-alcohol readings on any level.
The case stems from a Dauphin County DUI case of a Elizabethtown man. The man was charged with a DUI after a crash three years ago in Londonderry Township.
If the decision is upheld in state courts, a majority of DUI cases from recent years may come into question.