If you’ve ever had a single drink and then got behind the wheel of a car, you’ve truly opened yourself up to suspicion of DUI. Though you might not have drank enough to be considered over the legal limit of .08 BAC, the smell on your breath would likely warrant suspicion from a police officer. Fortunately, in most cases, that officer would conduct a series of tests to check how intoxicated you were, and if it were only one drink, you would likely be sent on your way.
But, several defense attorneys and their clients in Scottsdale are calling foul on local cops for the use of a machine being used to determine the level of intoxication. They say the blood analysis is faulty and is giving bad results, potentially resulting in DUI convictions when they weren’t warranted at all.
According to CBS 5, one such defendant had drank two “small beers” before getting in his vehicle. But when the officer that pulled him over tested his blood, it came back with a reading of 0.131%, much higher than the legal limit of .08. As a result, he was arrested and charged with driving drunk.
In court, a jury found the defendant not guilty in large part due to the glitch his attorney found in the device used for testing.
The issue is being called a “software glitch” and could be linked to numerous drunk driving cases in the area. Just how wide of an impact this discovery may have is as of yet unknown.
“What we’re seeing is the machine going and repeating itself, getting duplicate results, duplicate results, and then turning itself off,” said one lawyer connected to the case.
As for the police department, they have yet to comment on the specifics but have only reiterated that their lab is accredited and has “met or exceeded the rigorous standards set by the American Society of Crime Lab Directors.”
A group of attorneys has gotten together to uncover the problem and are waiting on a ruling this week from a judge that may determine jurors in 11 different pending DUI cases cannot hear BAC test results from the lab.
If you are facing DUI charges, properly calibrated alcohol detection devices is only one part of your possible defense. There are many strategies for successfully fighting a DUI charge. Contact our offices today to discuss the specifics of your case and how we might be able to help.