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Tag Archives: breathalyzer

DECISION ON SCIENTIFIC RELIABILITY OF DRAGER 9510 IN MASSACHUSETTS

After hearing testimony over ten days, Judge Brennan of the Massachusetts district court department issued his decision regarding the defense bar’s challenge to the scientific reliability of the Draeger Alcotest 9510 breathalyzer, first deployed in Massachusetts in June 2012. The defense bar’s motion to exclude breath test results from the 9510 machines as evidence against defendants was allowed in part and denied in part. The court determined that the scope of its inquiry should include: 1) whether the source code ... Read More »

CLOSING ARGUMENTS AT MASSACHUSETTS HEARING CHALLENGING RELIABILITY OF DRAEGER ALCOTEST 9510 BREATH TEST MACHINES

The hearing regarding the scientific reliability of the Draeger Alcotest 9510 breath test machines concluded with closing arguments on Friday, February 3. The defense bar argued that because the relevant statute states that simply driving with a .08 blood alcohol concentration, as measured by the 9510 machine, is enough for a conviction, regardless of the tolerance an individual driver may have or any effect on their driving, the reliability of the machines should be subject to the highest scrutiny. The ... Read More »

MORE PROBLEMS WITH DRAEGER ALCOTEST 9510 BREATH TEST MACHINES IN MASSACHUSETTS

On Friday, February 3, the final day of hearings regarding the scientific reliability of the Draeger Alcotest 9510 breath test machines, a representative from Draeger testified that a previously unknown error appears to have been caused because the machines were programmed to use an incorrect value during performance checks and calibration. The 9510 machines use two sensors to measure blood alcohol: An infrared sensor, as required by statute, and an electro-chemical fuel cell. During calibration, the measurements of the two ... Read More »

UPDATE ON DRAEGER LITIGATION

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently modified the scheduling order set by the District Court Department regarding the defense bar’s challenge to the scientific reliability of the Draeger Alcotest 9510 breath test machines. Justice Botsford, citing the complex nature of the matter, extended the litigation into next year. The modified schedule allows the defense bar more time to examine the machines and for all parties to produce and review expert opinions. Pursuant to the modified schedule, the defense bar must ... Read More »

An Alcohol Monitoring…Tattoo?

As DUI defense practitioners are well aware, a transdermal monitoring device such as a “SCRAM” device (a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring Device) is a prevalent but sometimes onerous tool in the bond condition, plea bargaining and sentencing processes. A client may be ordered to wear a SCRAM device ankle bracelet prior to trial, during probation, or as part of a compromised resolution of the case. The transdermal monitoring device continuously monitors a person’s blood alcohol level through skin contact ... Read More »

Can Body Temperature Affect Breath Test Results?

Law enforcement DUI investigation techniques depend largely upon the fictitious premise that all humans are physiologically identical. Without that presumption, field sobriety and breath alcohol tests would not be possible. There are, of course, many examples of physiological differences — from person to person and within one person from moment to moment — which will directly alter breath or blood alcohol testing in DUI investigations. A few examples are diabetes, GERD (acid reflux), anemia — even sex and race create ... Read More »

Factors Affecting Oklahoma Intoxilyzer and Breathalyzer Tests

Breathing into a Intoxilyzer can feel like testifying against oneself. From the perspective of the person being subject to a breath test, there is no reasoning with it, and no arguing against it. Our faith in modern technology means that technology cannot lie. Or so police officers, prosecutors and their expert witnesses would like you to believe. But is that really the case? Are breathalyzer/Intoxilyzer tests infallible? Part of establishing the existence of a reasonable doubt when it comes to ... Read More »

Felony DUI Law Coming to Colorado?

Last year, Senate Democrats in Colorado killed a bill that would have made repeat DUI offenses a felony offense in Colorado, much to the surprise and chagrin of the proposed law’s supporters. But now a Weld County state representative is trying again, with a new bill that, if passed, would classify a charged driver’s third DUI in seven years as a class 4 felony.  A class 4 felony carries a 2-6 year prison sentence followed by a mandatory 5 year period of parole.  The ... Read More »

The Oldest Question: Do You take a Test?

Well, it may not be the oldest question, but it may be the most important. Since the 1940’s and the onset of cheap blood alcohol testing, it is one that lawyers and defendants must initially face following a DWI arrest. Should you or shouldn’t you take the test? The answer to this, like everything else in law, is it depends. Like predicting the weather, the answer to this question turns on a variety of factors. While much of what I ... Read More »

The Unseen Risks of “One for the Road”

One evening at a restaurant, Martha shares a bottle of wine with a friend.  She nurses one glass over a one-hour dinner.  Nearing the end, another glass is poured from the bottle and she finishes this.  The two friends then order an after-dinner drink.  Noting the time, Martha quickly finishes the drink and leaves.  She is stopped by the police one block from the restaurant.  After questioning and field sobriety tests, she is taken to a police station and tested on a breathalyzer.  The machine shows ... Read More »