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Defective breathalyzers leads to reexamination of DUI cases

The discovery of defects in a certain model of breathalyzer has led to the reexamination of hundreds of DUI cases and could also result eventually in the overturning of hundreds of DUI convictions. While these defective breathalyzers were discovered in another state, this situation could happen anywhere, including Georgia.

Some handheld breathalyzers of the Intoximeter Alco-Sensor V breathalyzer models were found to take erratic and inaccurate readings of blood-alcohol levels. The time period of the possibily inaccurate results spanned over two months.

While this particular situation is currently happening in California, it could happen anywhere. The attempt to always make tweaks to the machines to make them more economical or smaller or to take faster readings also introduces bugs and errors to the products. According to the Ventura County Star, 128 of the machines were newly purchased and 8 were defective. Law enforcement in the county where the defective machines were used say they are currently going through DUI cases to see if an error could have been made.

About 160 people were arrested for DUI and still have cases pending or were convicted of DUI during the time period when the defective breathalyzers were used. Fortunately, law enforcement said that data was entered in the machine at the time they were used that recorded who had used them. But, unfortunately, some people may have already pleaded guilty to DUI or had their license suspended because of the faulty breathalyzer readings. They may have also paid fines or served jail time.

Source:

Defective breathalyzer could lead to tossing out hundreds of DUI convictions (Ventura County Star)