New Castle News

Closer Look

February 1, 2013

Breathalyzer suspension won’t be felt locally

NEW CASTLE — A decision by state police to temporarily suspend use of breathalyzer machines will have no effect in Lawrence County.

The reason is the machines aren’t used by police departments here, according to Lawrence County District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa.

Instead, police always have a person’s blood tested, he said.

State police suspended use of the machines in suspected drunken driving cases because of a Dauphin County judge’s decision to throw out several driving under the influence cases after learning one manufacturer had omitted a state requirement to have a liquid solution tested by independent labs.

Lamancusa said local police may sometimes conduct a portable breath test, which is used as a barometer to see if a driver has any alcohol in his system.

“But we never rely on the percentages it gives us,” he said, adding it isn’t admissible in court.

“Any type of criminal prosecution relies on a blood test where blood is drawn at the hospital,” he said.

If an officer smells alcohol on a person who exhibits signs of unsafe driving, the individual is taken to the hospital to have his blood drawn, Lamancusa explained. The drawn blood is then sent to a nationally accredited laboratory to determine the alcohol level.

Lamancusa said the key is to have the blood drawn as soon as possible after an arrest.

A state police spokesman said the case is being appealed.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Closer Look
  • money.jpg Up through the ground comes education cash

    Democrats running for governor seem to be competing to convince voters they will dip deepest into the pockets of gas drillers to replace $1 billion that Gov. Tom Corbett has cut from education spending.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg Shenango passes tax abatement

    Shenango Township supervisors unanimously approved a tax abatement for Blackwatch Properties LLC when they met Thursday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • manna.jpg John K. Manna: Proposals in Harrisburg fail to reflect reality

    My, how time flies. The city of New Castle is in already in its eighth year as a distressed municipality under state Act 47.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • amish.tiff Officers wear Amish women’s garb to lure suspect

    Two police officers posing as Amish women tried to catch a man who reportedly was exposing himself to Amish children.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • United Way reports funds raised for pool renovation

    United Way of Lawrence County has raised $51,363 toward the renovation of the Cascade Park swimming pool. Gayle Young, United Way executive director, reported the amount this week.

    April 11, 2014

  • gavel.jpg Shenango to consider tax abatement

    The Shenango Township supervisors will consider offering a five-year sliding tax abatement for businesses at a special meeting Thursday.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Paterno memorial gaining support in PSU trustees election

    Former lieutenant governor Bob Jubelirer has joined Penn State supporters calling for the return of the Joe Paterno statue that once stood outside Beaver Stadium.

    April 10, 2014

  • Road.jpg PennDOT to resurface Route 18

    Plans are under way to resurface a nine-mile stretch of Route 18 in southern Lawrence County. Dan Cessna, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation district manager, told the Lawrence County commissioners Tuesday that is one project that has been added since the Lawrence County road work for this year was announced last week.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Turnpike maintenance to impact E-ZPass use

    Pennsylvania Turnpike E-ZPass users will face a restriction Wednesday. Eastbound and westbound Express E-ZPass lanes at the Gateway Mainline Toll Plaza (Exit 2) will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to turnpike officials.

    April 9, 2014

  • Mental illness shouldn’t disqualify gun buyers, advocates say

    In the aftermath of another mass shooting and an inevitable debate over gun laws, a mental health advocate and gun control lobbyist are warning against unfairly restricting the mentally ill from accessing firearms.

    April 9, 2014

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Section Teases
Must Read
Continuous Super Bowl Coverage