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.
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.
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