In June 2022, a Kitsap County District Court judge ruled that breathalyzer results from Draeger Alcotest machines are inadmissible in Kitsap County. The ruling came in the case of State v. Austin R. Keller, who was charged with DUI after he was stopped for driving erratically. Keller refused a field sobriety test, but he agreed to take a breathalyzer test. The test showed that Keller's blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.12%, which is above the legal limit of 0.08%.
Keller's attorney argued that the breathalyzer results should be suppressed because the Draeger machine was not calibrated properly. The state toxicologist, who is responsible for calibrating the machines, testified that he had been using a different method of calibration than the one approved by the state. As a result, the breathalyzer results were not accurate.
The judge agreed with Keller's attorney and suppressed the breathalyzer results. The judge found that the state had not met its burden of proving that the results were reliable. This ruling could have a significant impact on DUI cases in Kitsap County. In the past, breathalyzer results from Draeger machines have been routinely admitted into evidence. However, now that it has been shown that these results may not be accurate, prosecutors may have a harder time proving DUI cases.
This ruling is also significant because it is the first time that a court has ruled that Draeger breathalyzer results are inadmissible. This could lead to other courts following suit, which could have a major impact on DUI cases across the country.
The Draeger issue is just one example of the challenges that law enforcement faces in prosecuting DUI cases. In recent years, there have been a number of scientific studies that have called into question the accuracy of breathalyzers. These studies have found that breathalyzers can be inaccurate for a variety of reasons, including the presence of mouthwash, food, or other substances in the mouth.
In addition to the accuracy issues, there are also concerns about the reliability of breathalyzers. These machines are often used by police officers who are not trained in their proper use. As a result, there is a risk that the results of a breathalyzer test may be inaccurate or unreliable.
The challenges of prosecuting DUI cases are significant. However, it is important to remember that drunk driving is a serious crime. Every year, thousands of people are killed or injured in drunk driving accidents. It is important to do everything we can to keep our roads safe and to hold drunk drivers accountable for their actions.
If you have been charged with DUI, it is important to speak with an experienced DUI attorney. An attorney can help you understand the charges against you and can build a strong defense.