A faulty breathalyzer used by San Jose police to arrest 865 DUI suspects could lead to drivers walking free — even if they were drunk behind the wheel, authorities revealed Tuesday. In a report by the Mercury News the Alco-Sensor V breathalyzer used by officers may have shown incorrect readings because of a manufacturer’s error that can cause condensation to build up in the tube. The devices were also used by Palo Alto police.
The Mercury News reports prosecutors and defense attorneys say it’s a technicality that could get some suspects off the hook — by a dropped case or reversed conviction. San Jose officers had been using the device exclusively since November but stopped Friday after discovering the tests are not reliable. County crime lab officials, prosecutors and police began looking into the breathalyzers after discovering that Ventura County authorities began reviewing hundreds of similar cases more than a week ago. An unknown amount of DUI cases in Palo Alto, where officers have been using the device since April 2010, could also be affected. St. Louis-based Intoximeters says on its website that the breathalyzer was approved by the U.S. government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If you have been arrested for DUI involving a breathalyzer contact Santa Barbara DUI lawyer Kenneth M. Hallum. Know your rights, options, and defenses.