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Washington State Patrol upgrades its DUI breath-test machines

Posted by John M. Tymczyszyn | Nov 16, 2014 | 0 Comments

For the past 30+ years the Washington State Patrol has used the DataMaster device to measure Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) in drivers who are pulled over for DUI.  That is coming to and end, the DataMaster device, which has been made since the 1980's will soon stop production.

From now on, if you get a DUI in unincorporated King County, a DUI in Bellevue, a DUI in Kirkland, or a DUI in Redmond, it may be issued using the new device.  That device is the Drager Alcotest 9510, and the state of Washington is purchasing these devices at a cost of $9,500 each!

See this link to learn more about the device:

http://www.draeger.com/sites/enus_us/Pages/Alcohol-and-Drug-Detection/Welcome.aspx

The new device allows officers to send real-time DUI data over the internet.  The new device will use a dry gas to measure alcohol levels instead of a liquid solution.  For years the liquid solution used by the Datamaster has needed to be mixed by local scientists and checked for temperature and contamination.  This is not the case with the new Drager Alcotest 9510.

But the State will use the DataMaster until all the state's DUI machines are replaced, which could take years. The State Patrol has come under heat in the past for using the DataMaster machines, as well for as their DUI protocols.

In 2008, three King County District Court judges issued a blistering 29-page ruling, saying that the lab engaged in “fraudulent and scientifically unacceptable” practices that have compromised breath-test readings used to prosecute suspected drunken drivers. The judges found that a “multiplicity of errors,” including how breath-test results were analyzed and verified at the lab, affected thousands of cases in recent years. Specifically, the judges criticized the work of the former state toxicologist and the former lab manager. The allegations included errors to the way the breath-test machines were calibrated. Sharpe said the machines were never found to be at fault. The problems, he said, were human error.

If you are charged with a DUI in Redmond, Kirkland or Bellevue it is important to have a Bellevue DUI lawyer who is trained with this new technology. Additionally, if you have received a DUI in a King County District Court it is important to speak with a King County DUI lawyer/attorney who understands this technology.

Seattle Times Article is posted HERE:

You can learn more by visiting our DUI WEBPAGE or by calling JOHN T LAW at (425) 533-2156.

About the Author

John M. Tymczyszyn

Attorney John T. is a third generation Washingtonian, Navy Veteran and criminal defense attorney.

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