California DOJ continues to allow faulty breath test devices
Defective Drager breath testing units in use by California Law Enforcement
Did you know a common breath test device used for DUI prosecutions in Northern California was defectively manufactured? The Department of “Justice” for the State of California ordered 1000 units of the EPAS Alco Test 7410 manufactured by Drager Safety Diagnostics. Shortly thereafter the DOJ found out that the breath test device was faulty. The defect was that if the exit-port on the mouthpiece was capable of being inadvertently blocked by the officer holding the device during the administration of the breath test.
The effect: it artificially increases the breath test result. Recently in a jury trial, we got the criminalist expert to admit that he personally tested the device and received illegal results when the true blood alcohol concentration level was below the legal limit. He admitted a person with a legal blood alcohol level could be falsely arrested and convicted of a DUI based on that reading.
The DOJ acted swiftly when they learned of the defect. They sent out a memo to the agencies telling the officers to be careful not to block the exit port. They did not take the units out of service or demand the manufacturer fix the design flaw or replace the units.
There are an estimated 1000 defective Drager units still in service right now.
This is why is takes an experienced DUI attorney to challenge the type of evidence used by law enforcement since it is the drivers who pay the ultimate price for faulty units and flimsy readings. Call us today at (925) 952-8900.