What Is the Process for a DUI Breath Test in Pennsylvania?

Legally reviewed by:
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C.
September 12, 2023

Like any driver in Pennsylvania, you could be asked by law enforcement to submit to a breath test after you have been stopped for another reason. If this happens, you should know that officers are required to follow specific procedures when conducting these tests.

The Pennsylvania Code explains that one of the first procedural elements of any breath test for suspected intoxication  is a wait period. The officer or other approved breath test operator must be with you in person for 20 minutes before they can request your breath sample. During this 20-minute period, you will not be allowed to eat or drink anything. You are also not allowed to have vomited, smoked, or regurgitated anything during this time.

After a successful 20-minute period has been completed, the actual breath testing may commence. This includes not one, but two, actual breath tests which are to be conducted by someone certified to administer the test. There is no requirement for any waiting period between the two tests. The lowest reading will be the one that is used in your case, should you be arrested. After the second test has been completed, the operator will then conduct a simulator test immediately. In this test, a solution is used that should return a 0.10 percent reading.

The results of your breath test can be dismissed if the values between the two tests differ by more than 0.02 or 0.020 percent. This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information about intoxication breath tests in Philadelphia.


Legally reviewed by:
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C.
Pennsylvania Attorney's
September 12, 2023
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