On behalf of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry posted in Drug Crimes on Wednesday, May 16, 2018.
Missouri motorists who become entangled with law enforcers in cases alleging drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs should be able to confidently rely upon the thorough advocacy of their legal advocates.
That is, they have a justifiable expectation that competent and aggressive legal representation will smartly and methodically explore every shred of potentially relevant evidence in their case. The materially important bottom line routinely depends upon that.
We note on our website at the proven St. Louis criminal defense firm of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry that, “When you entrust our firm to take on your DWI case, we review all available evidence.” For important reasons, that includes a close examination of breathalyzer outcomes, maintenance records and scrutiny of such machines themselves. They are far from infallible.
That assertion is periodically – and repeatedly – borne out by news stories that emerge in both Missouri and from states all across the country. A recent national article notes “a scandal that blew up in 2017” pursuant to a finding that nearly every single one of hundreds of Alcotest 9510 breathalyzer machines being used across one state were improperly calibrated. A judge in that state called the machines “presumptively unreliable.” Thousands of DWI cases were tossed.
The same news source (with others echoing it) now spotlights a growing controversy with the Alcotest machine in other states. It also cites a report delivered last year by researchers to defense attorney at a national conference that calls into question the accuracy of the machine’s so-called source code. Those experts point to flaws and advise authorities to look at results “with extreme caution.”
The breathalyzer’s manufacturer has fought back against the findings, contending that the researchers violated a protective order concerning the source code (multiple commentators say that such is not the case) and have defamed the company. A settlement has been reached in the matter.
Breathalyzer-linked evidence must always be looked at closely by defense attorneys, given its demonstrated history of error. Reportedly, more than one million Americans are arrested annually on DWI charges.