Faulty Breathalyzer May Void Some Minnesota DUIs
Thousands of Minnesota drunk driving convictions may soon be voided, thanks to an obstinate company's refusal to turn over the (allegedly faulty) source code of its breath-testing device. In light of exposed innacuracies in such devices, a Minnesota court recently issued a ruling allowing defendants in DUI cases to request that the prosecution turn over the source code for the CMI Intoxilyzer 5000, the primary breath-testing device used by Minnesota police. CMI has refused to comply to such requests, stating that the code is a protected trade secret.
Actually, this is the second time that the Kentucky-based CMI has refused such a request: The first time was in January of this year, at the request of a Florida judge. Either CMI believes that it can be competitively compromised if the code is turned over (since it already owes millions of dollars in court fines for not doing so), or its code is just faulty. At this point, it's impossible to know the truth, but given the reports that state the inaccuracy of breathalyzer machines, you can bet that both sides will fight this one to the very end. It's a very gray battle to be sure. While we'd hate to see drunk drivers go free, we think everyone would agree that a court decision based on potentially false evidence is much worse. [From: ScienceBlogs]