Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Now that's a brave ruling!

A judge in Tucson, AZ has excluded the results of Intoxilyzer 8000 tests in 49 DUI cases now pending in its court. This stems from the manfucturer's (CMI) refusal to disclose the source code for the breath tester. To reach this ruling, the Court found that the State could not establish the reliability of the breath test machine as a foundational requirement for its admission in evidence because the formulae it used to estimate blood alcohol concentration from breath alchohol concentration remains secret.

I have ranted about the device here: The Alcohol Breath Test

You can find an article about the ruling here: Article

CMI claims that the source code is protected by trade secrets law. This may be true. If they expect, however, that states use their device in criminal prosecutions, there must be transparency to assure just convictions and just acquittals. There should be no secrets in the criminal justice system.

There are two important results that will come of from releasing the source code: Either 1) courts will find that the device is reliable and can be trusted, or 2) courts will find that the device is unreliable and will force law enforcement agencies to replace them with something reliable. When the testing process is more reliable, more of the guilty will be convicted and more the innocent will be acquitted. Everybody wins.


K&B Brown said...

49 cases- why doesn't the company just see what seems like common sense?

Westbrook Family said...

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TonyaKuykendall said...

Dave, I don't know if you remember me, but I have a legal question for you. Can you contact me when you have a moment? Thanks.

Tonya Kuykendall (from Texas)

Coco, Lui and Baylee said...

yeah, another blogger friend!