Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Ventura County DUI Cases under Scrutiny Because of Defective Breathalyzer


Doubts about the accuracy and reliability of breathalyzers could place hundreds of DUI arrests in Ventura County under the microscope. Prosecutors will soon begin reviewing close to 300 DUI cases that involved the use of breathalyzers. A number of DUI cases linked to the use of the breathalyzer could be dropped.

The breathalyzer in question here is the Alco-Sensor V. Los Angeles DUI defense attorneys have come across several instances earlier that have also pointed to possible defects in the breathalyzer, bringing into question the accuracy and validity of test reports. However, for a long time now, the problems with the breathalyzer have been swept under the rug by Ventura County officials. They have mostly insisted that these problems are random, confined to just a few breathalyzers, and not systemic.

That doesn't really seem to be the case now. The defective design of the breathalyzer has been validated by none other than the company that manufactures the breathalyzers. The manufacturer has written to the Ventura County Sheriff's Department which states that tests conducted by the company have confirmed a problem with the breathalyzer’s mouth device. The company says that the breathalyzer will be subjected to rigorous retesting.

According to the Deputy District Attorney, his agency has stopped further work on any of the DUI cases that involved the breathalyzer. Initially, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office claimed that 226 DUI cases involving the breathalyzer had been identified. Now, that number has been increased to 294. Out of these, 157 cases have involved defendants who have pleaded guilty or no-contest to DUI charges. The remaining cases are still pending.

Los Angeles DUI defense attorneys believe that it’s quite likely that many of those DUI arrests that were made solely on the evidence of the breathalyzer, will now be dropped.

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