From NY Times

A million Americans a year are arrested for drunken driving, and most stops begin the same way: flashing blue lights in the rearview mirror, then a battery of tests that might include standing on one foot or reciting the alphabet.

What matters most, though, happens next. By the side of the road or at the police station, the drivers blow into a miniature science lab that estimates the concentration of alcohol in their blood. If the level is 0.08 or higher, they are all but certain to be convicted of a crime.

software is fake

>But those tests — a bedrock of the criminal justice system — are often unreliable, a New York Times investigation found. The devices, found in virtually every police station in America, generate skewed results with alarming frequency, even though they are marketed as precise to the third decimal place.

Judges in Massachusetts and New Jersey have thrown out more than 30,000 breath tests in the past 12 months alone, largely because of human errors and lax governmental oversight. Across the country, thousands of other tests also have been invalidated in recent years.

The machines are sensitive scientific instruments, and in many cases they haven’t been properly calibrated, yielding results that were at times 40 percent too high. Maintaining machines is up to police departments that sometimes have shoddy standards and lack expertise.

In some cities, lab officials have used stale or home-brewed chemical solutions that warped results.

In Massachusetts, officers used a machine with rats nesting inside.

Read Full Article at NY Times


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4 COMMENTS

  1. In the country Im living in at the moment, you can demand a blood test from a hospital, two police officers will escort you for the blood test.
    But remember it could go in your favor or not, only good if you know you are under.

  2. I’m not going to read the NYT article.

    Here’s the thing . . . a police officer pulls over a car which is, OBVIOUSLY being driven . . . swervey. The driver is pulled over, and the first thing they ask:
    “What seems to be the offissor . . . problem, offissor . . . ?”

    They drunk!

    They will DENY IT until the cows come home. They will DENY it in court. They will hire an attorney who will DENY it in court.

    I do not blame the police officers who deal with cars wrapped around lightposts . . . if the breath analysis can document the condition of the drunk drivers’ BREATH measurements, and use them in court for a conviction . . . GOOD! In this one instance, can SOMEONE please do their jobs without the NYT being paid to get rid of something that ACTUALLY works.

    1,000,000 fake breath tests??

    The NYT does realize that for millie peeps who have “fake” breath test conducted, that’s . . . 1,000,000 drivers suspected of DUI. That’s 20,000 “alleged” drunk drivers in each state PER YEAR, or >1,600 per month! That’s a lot of police pulling people over, who AREN’T drunk? I tend to doubt that. Drunk people can’t fathom they have any drinking problems, let alone how to deal with it, which is why the breath analysis is very important in court.

    ALL the courts have diversion programs. ALL OF. THEM.

  3. I know a young person who was stopped outside a bar after a drink. He was tested by a breathalyzer and passed. The cop would not accept that so he called for another car with a “special” breathalyzer and, of course, he failed this one. He was given the name of a local lawyer who specializes in DUI and had pay him several thousand dollar to call the prosecutor and make the “usual deal.” He plead guilty to impaired which is a lessor charge but still screws up your insurance rate for years. This is a profit mill for the local government and the lawyer. (who may or may not have shared his fee with his friend the prosecutor.)
    There are plenty of real cases where a drunk person is behind the wheel and is a danger to himself and others without going after those who are, at worst, marginal. Of course, it has ben proven that, in general, a person who is texting while driving is a bigger hazard than a drunk driver but the penalty is much less.

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