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Batting continues over breathalyzer accuracy

People who are arrested for and charged with driving under the influence offenses in New York often provide breath samples designed to capture and identify their blood alcohol level. This information can then become critical evidence in the case against them. The accuracy of the readings provided by breath test devices is therefore something that is of great importance to prosectors, defense teams and defendants alike.

A debate that has been underway for many years between researchers and one manufacturer of breath tests units appears to still be unresolved and not poised to stop any time soon. At issue are units made by a company from Germany. The units are used by law enforcement teams in multiple states in the U.S. including New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Several years ago some researchers in Washington State were allowed to obtain the source code from the German company's units.

In examining the code and the devices, multiple issues are said to have been found by the researchers. The problems are all said to have the ability to render the results of a breath test inaccurate. The manufacturer has been trying to block widespread dissemination of the information citing its desire to defend its intellectual property rights. While at least one researcher continues to investigate the devices, the future of their use or of the use of their results remains unknown.

Once charged with a DUI offense, drivers in New York might want to talk with an attorney to understand the evidence to be used against them.

Source: ZDnet.com, "Researchers say a breathalyzer has flaws, casting doubt on countless convictions," Zack Whittaker, May 10, 2018

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