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California man argues DUI machines unreliable, SCOTUS denies case

On behalf of Dan Henner of Law Offices of Karlstrom & Krebsposted in Drunk Driving on Friday, July 18, 2014.

A man out of California is in the news for his attempt to take a case to the highest court in the United States: SCOTUS. SCOTUS, or the Supreme Court of the United States, denied review of his case.

The case provides an interesting take on the reliability of DUI machines. The man's argument centered on questioning the use of a breath sample to get a reading of the amount of alcohol in a person's bloodstream, which was supported by a professor of medicine and physiology out of the University of Washington. Ultimately, the professor claimed that these machines are incapable of getting an accurate reading.

The argument is based on the wide range of variables inherent to these tests. The medical professional mentioned above is noted as claiming the tests would be more reliant if they used air that was deep within the lungs, closer to the blood vessels. However, this is generally not where the air that leads to the breath sample comes from. Instead the air used is the exhaled air.

Ultimately, a trial judge ruled the argument was too speculative and SCOTUS refused to provide further review.

This is not the first time Breathalyzers have been criticized in court. In some cases, the critiques have led to dismissal of charges. As a result, those who are charged with a DUI are wise to seek the counsel of an experienced drunk driving defense attorney. Your lawyer will review the details of your case to build a defense. This review will likely include looking into the way evidence was gathered to ensure that proper techniques were used.

Source: SF Gate, " U.S. Supreme Court rejects challenge to DUI machines," Bob Egelko, June 23, 2014