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Defective Breathalyzers, DUI Cases Could Be Dismissed Or Overturned

PAS.jpgThe Alco-Sensor V Breathalyzer, used by law enforcement as a preliminary alcohol screening test (PAS), was recently purchased and put into use in every law enforcement agency in Ventura County to replace the older Alco-Sensor IV model. However, the blood alcohol results from the newer model have been found to be erratic in tests taken from January 20th through March 31, 2011, and some devices have other defects as well.

All of these devices have been sent back to the manufacturer for further testing. Meanwhile, all Ventura County law enforcement agencies have resumed its use of the Alco-Sensor IV device.

So far, 294 alleged drunk driving cases have been identified where the Alco-Sensor V was used. There have been 157 guilty or no contest pleas, leaving 137 cases still pending.

Prosecutors claim they will not oppose a motion to withdraw a guilty or no contest plea if the Alco-Sensor V was “substantially relied upon” to prove the charges. Cases that are still pending will be dropped if this machine was the only method used to determine the blood alcohol content (BAC).

Often the PAS test is only one piece of evidence that is used to determine if you are under the influence for purposes of driving. Often, prosecutors will not just throw out cases they believe they can still prove with the mandatory breath or blood test that is taken after the arrest. You should fight any DUI charges that involve a PAS test using the defective Alco-Sensor V machine. Motions can be filed that may result in your case being reduced or even dismissed!


If you have been arrested or charged with a DUI in San Diego and your case involves a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test, contact The Law Offices of Susan L. Hartman immediately at 619-260-1122 or use the “Contact Us” form on this page. We provide free initial consultations so you can find out about your rights and the defenses to your case.

Online Sources:

Nearly 300 DUI Cases Could Be Affected By County’s Use of Defective Breathalyzer: vcstar.com
Defective Breathalyzer Could Lead to Tossing Out Hundreds of DUI Convictions: vcstar.com
Faulty Breathalyzers Spur Review of Hundreds of DUI Cases: latimes.com