AOH :: PT-1209.HTM

DUI cases tossed out because of closed-source breathalyzer

DUI cases tossed out because of closed-source breathalyzer
DUI cases tossed out because of closed-source breathalyzer

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: politech submission
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2005 10:12:10 -0700
From: Michael Marking  

Note: DUI cases thrown out for lack of breathalyzer source code

Remark: relevant to voting machines?

Source: The following article is from 

Copy of Article:

DUI Defendants Skip Charge By Asking How Test Works

Published: Jun 5, 2005

SANFORD - Hundreds of cases involving breath-alcohol tests have been
thrown out by Seminole County judges in the past five months because the
test's manufacturer will not disclose how the machines work.

All four of Seminole County's criminal judges have been using a standard
that if a DUI defendant asks for a key piece of information about how
the machine works - its software source code, for instance - and the
state cannot provide it, the breath test is rejected, the Orlando
Sentinel reported Wednesday.

Prosecutors have said they do not know how many drunken drivers have
been acquitted as a result. But Gino Feliciani, the misdemeanor division
chief in the Seminole County State Attorney's Office, said the
conviction rate has dropped to 50 percent or less.

Seminole judges have been following the lead of county Judge Donald
Marblestone, who in January ruled that although the information may be a
trade secret and controlled by a private contractor, defendants are
entitled to it.

``Florida cannot contract away the statutory rights of its citizens,''
the judge wrote.

Judges in other counties have said the opposite: The state cannot turn
over something it does not possess, and the manufacturer should not have
to turn over trade secrets.

(end of article)


Michael Marking  
Key fingerprint = 5D46 074A 0CC4 FEA2 53AB 1A36 DDF1 4AB7 4BCE 6216

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