The very basis of many OUIs, the breath test, faced controversy last year when a machine used in police stations to calibrate breath tests was deemed to have been affected by “operator error.” A number of district attorneys suspended breath tests at the time, due to the errors. The attorneys challenging the state are going a step further saying the company that makes the machine to analyze breath tests hasn’t proved the results are reliable. As a “blood alcohol state”, attorneys say that Massachusetts’ breath tests aren’t accurately measuring blood alcohol.
What’s more, the Supreme Judicial Court has also peeled back the breath test to its fundamentals as “scientific evidence.” The Supreme Court ruled on June 12th that breath test results are scientific evidence that must be established to be true. A drunk-driving defendant – along with 61 others in similar positions – argued to exclude the admission of breath test evidence from Alcotest 7110 MK III-C on the basis that the deficiencies in the device’s source code and other deficiencies, as well as the device’s inability to test exclusively for ethanol and the unreliability of calibration tests make it “scientifically unreliable.” The judge dealing with the case dismissed the motion, but the Supreme Judicial Court stepped in to order a hearing on the reliability of this first of its kind breathalyzer.
If you’re facing an OUI charge, the attorneys at Murphy & Rudolf LLP are experienced OUI lawyers who can help you fight your case. Please call us today.