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Supreme Court Upholds Intoxilyzer Breath-Testing Device's Validity

In a 4-3 ruling, the Minnesota Supreme Court upheld that the Intoxilyzer 5000EN is reliable even though the heavily-debated source code contains errors. What do you think? Is the breath-testing machine reliable?

The Minnesota Supreme Court today upheld that the Intoxilyzer breath-testing machine is reliable, ending a six-year battle in state and federal courts.

In a 4-3 ruling, the Supreme Court agreed with District Court Judge Jerome Abrams that the Intoxilyzer 5000EN—a device once used in DWI cases across the state of Minnesota—is reliable even though the heavily-debated source code contains errors.

Dissenting from today’s ruling were Supreme Court Justices Alan Page, Paul H. Anderson and Helen Meyer.

Wednesday’s ruling means that more than 4,000 DWI and implied-consent cases that have been held up during the appeals process will now proceed.

But the thing is, the breath-testing device that has long been in question will be phased out by the end of the summer for the DataMaster DMT-G, which has already had issues.

Here We Go Again?

The DataMaster DMT-G—the device currently being used by many law enforcement agencies in the Twin Cities area—is the only authorized breath-testing device in Minnesota.

But after spending $1.7 million on more than 250 devices, the new machines have already been called flawed.

The device takes two readings—one similar to the Intoxilyzer and the other using a dry-gas method—of blood alcohol content at once.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says the flaw in the dry-gas method hasn't affected accuracy, but just last month told law enforcement agencies to shut off that method off until the issue has been addressed.

Several law enforcement officers Patch spoke with today said it is their understanding that the defense bar has already committed to fighting the DataMaster’s validity.

Do you think the results of the Intoxilyzer 5000EN were reliable? Vote in our poll and tell us why or why not in the comment section below.

limeex2 June 28, 2012 at 01:11 PM
When a electronic device that has a flawed history, has the ability to change and in some instances destroy peoples lives, it needs to be fixed, or not used.
lange28 June 28, 2012 at 07:45 PM
maybe people who's lives would be destoyed by a dui conviction shouldn't do it
Bobbo June 29, 2012 at 01:47 AM
Owning a gun does not make you a murderer, but if you own a gun, you could certainly kill someone intentionally whenever you felt like it and only be punished if and when you actually killed someone - that is just fine with America. Having a BAC of .08 is a crime when behind the wheel because you POTENTIALLY could hurt yourself or someone else. You dont have to hurt someone, you dont have to see anyone, you don't have to be near anyone, but you are a criminal and should go to prison for your crimes against society!!!! Regardless whether drunk or not, above or below the legal limit, everyone behind the wheel of a motor vehicle has the ability to kill someone, but if you're not drinking it is merely an accident and get a slap on the hand or nothing at all?!? You can be a bad driver, an old driver, a young driver, an inattentive driver and kill anyone you like and call it an accident as long as you were not drinking - that is just fine with us. All of you people who support laws like this will eventually get something taken from you that you thought you had a right to because your support crap like DUI laws and eventually, we will have to eliminate all risks to keep up with the status quo. This law needs to change and the Supreme Court got it way wrong. If you want to stop drunk driving, stop selling alcohol and cars.
Susan June 29, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Drinking and driving is illegal, Bobbo, this should not be controversial, this is common sense! If you get behind the wheel, after having more than one drink, you run MORE of a risk of hurting someone (including yourself) than if you got behind the wheel without that second or third drink....this is proven by studies. Didn't you see the tapes in school? I suppose you are against the seat belt law too, as it takes away your freedom of choice? As I said, this is common sense stuff...shouldn't be controversial.

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