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The Science of DUI's

DUI Lawyer in Pittsburgh

The Science of DUIs

For decades, law enforcement has gotten away with passing off junk science as evidence in DUI cases. In recent years, drunk driving defense lawyers have won major victories against the use of so-called "field-sobriety testing" and against the technology used in breathalyzer machines, which purports to measure blood-alcohol level. As a veteran Pittsburgh criminal attorney, Blaine Jones understands the many legal and technical issues involved in both proving and defending DUI cases. Attorney Jones has handled thousands of cases throughout Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh DUI Defense: Science of the Breath Test

Attorneys continue to win court victories involving the science of breathalyzer testing. Departments from coast to coast have been forced to stop using faulty machines and have dismissed thousands of drunk driving cases. In several states, defense lawyers have won the rights to inspect the proprietary computer code the manufacturer claims accurately reads blood-alcohol levels. The age of the machine, the training of the officer involved, and the machine's maintenance records all play a significant role in the outcome of test results.

Other considerations include:

  • When was the alcohol consumed? In some cases, additional alcohol is consumed between allegations and arrest (hit-and-run is an example).
  • What was eaten? Certain foods can impact test results.
  • What medications or medical conditions are involved?

Field-Sobriety Testing in Pittsburgh Drunk Driving Cases

Field-sobriety tests are nothing more than an officer's opinion as to guilt. Since an officer's job is to gather evidence of guilt, the test results are typically a foregone conclusion. In other words, you don't stand a chance. With the deck already heavily stacked in their favor, you would think law enforcement would be content to administer the approved "tests" and record their "results." Unfortunately, that's often not the case.

The three recognized field sobriety tests are:

  • The horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) or pen test
  • The walk-and-turn
  • One-legged stand

Officers continue to insist that drunk driving suspects touch their nose, say the alphabet or perform other acrobatic tasks. There is no science here. These tests should not be admitted into a court of law. 

If you've been charged with driving under the influence, call Pittsburgh DUI attorney Blaine Jones for a confidential consultation.

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