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Troublesome questions surrounding widely used DUI breathalyzer

Why might you harbor concerns as a California motorist if the alcohol you consumed at an office party was minimal and you flat-out know you’re well under the legal threshold for drunk driving?

Here’s one reason why: If you are stopped, the state trooper or police officer approaching your car might have an Alcotest 9510 in hand.

You might find that unobjectionable. Familiarity with the problems linked to that alcohol-detecting breathalyzer in multiple states, though, could readily convince you otherwise.

A recent in-depth media probe of alleged breathalyzer deficiencies notes “a scandal that blew up” last year in Massachusetts that resulted in the dismissal of thousands of DUI arrests that had relied on Alcotest 9510 BAC findings. Authorities in that state determined that s stunning 99%-plus of hundreds of breathalyzers in use were improperly calibrated.

And now there’s more from the other end of the country, with various news sources spotlighting a report that garnered considerable attention last summer at a national meeting of DUI-defense attorneys. Two research experts chronicled their findings regarding the breathalyzer’s source code. That software governs how the machine operates and measurers blood alcohol levels.

They concluded that the code is sufficiently flawed and may have been the primary catalyst in high numbers of wrongful DUI convictions secured in Washington State. The researchers told their legal audience that they were “skeptical” that the Alcotest 9510 can deliver accurate results.

That is obviously notable and disturbing news. The above-cited article states that the Alcotest machine “has become a staple in law enforcement” across the country.

That includes California, which should understandably raise widespread concerns for state motorists. Drivers have justifiable expectations in the reliability and accuracy of law enforcement instruments.

Many concerns – including those relating to breathalyzer use and accuracy – can arise for California drivers interacting with law enforcers in a DUI matter. An experienced defense attorney routinely provides clients with strong and timely representation geared toward a best-case outcome.

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