The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

January 30, 2013

NEW | State police suspend use of breathalyzers


Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA —

State police say they have temporarily suspended use of breathalyzer machines in suspected drunken driving cases because of a judge's concerns about the accuracy of the devices.

Spokesman Adam Reed told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the decision stems from a Dauphin County judge's decision to throw out several DUI cases after learning that one manufacturer had omitted a state requirement to have a liquid solution tested by independent labs.

Reed said the case is being appealed, but as a precaution police will temporarily refrain from using the devices. Instead, he says, suspects will be taken to a police facility or hospital for a blood-alcohol test.

Reed said the change might actually result in more motorists being charged since blood tests can detect drug intoxication while breathalyzers cannot.