Florida Supreme Court Hears Challenge to Breath Test Software

February 6, 2013

  • February 6, 2013 at 2:26 pm
    ExciteBiker says:
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    I think if the state is using a piece of computer equipment that relies on source code as a critical component of the equipment’s primary function to put people in jail then the accused has every legal right to question the witness and see the evidence. I would be extremely wary of any claim that such information is the ‘proprietary information’ of the breathalyzer manufacturer. If the state is saying “you’re guilty because this piece of software said you are”, then you darn well have a right to see the code.

    Breathalyzer source code has surfaced publicly before, and the programming industry was quick to rip the code to shreds with most decribing it as a giant patchwork monster chock full of bad code.

    The measure of the reliability, efficacy, or accuracy of a computerized breath test machine requires a thorough analysis of the source code, and I would argue that a lack of such information would constitute reasonable doubt in an of itself in a large number of DUI cases, particularly where the reason for the stop is something other than erratic driving (like a busted tail light) and there is a lack of other supporting evidence such as a person stumbling on a dash cam video or obviously failing field sobriety tests.

  • February 6, 2013 at 2:42 pm
    Huh! says:
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    Yeah and the speedometers of these same drivers don’t work either. While a defendant has a right to face the accuser, changes are they are just looking for a way to beat the ticket, not in how well the breathalyzer works.

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