Even After Intoxilyzer Source Code Issues, Minnesota DWI Testing A Problem

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2013 | DWI |

Most drunk driving cases revolve around alcohol testing results. However, the past has proven that the testing can be flawed, such as with the Intoxilyzer 5000.

The problem with the Intoxilyzer 5000 was with the source code. At one time, it was the primary method to detect alcohol on a person’s breath. It was later found that there was something wrong with the internal computer code that the device relied on. This has resulted in law enforcement moving away from using the Intoxilyzer 5000, but this has left quite a few DWI cases in limbo. Now law enforcement is especially reliant on the alternative alcohol testing methods, such as urine testing and blood testing. Even these methods have failed to withstand scientific scrutiny.

Urine Testing Issues

Source code and software issues have plagued the Intoxilyzer for years. Minneapolis DWI defense attorneys and criminal defense lawyers all around the state have challenged the use of the device because the results were not always accurate. When it was requested, the Intoxilyzer 5000 manufacturer would not release the source code so it could be analyzed. This led to even more confusion in the matter. After years of legal fights, a Minnesota judge ruled that the device gave an accurate numerical representation of the alcohol in someone’s blood through breath testing. The ruling was then appealed through the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Breath testing is still being used to test blood alcohol concentration, but law enforcement now rely on testing devices, such as the Datamaster. This is a device from a new manufacturer. Urine testing has also become more popular due to the fact source codes can be challenged. Still, urine testing for DWI in Minnesota is not always accurate.

The reason why urine testing is not always accurate is because alcohol is deposited in the bladder as the body processes it. This is so the alcohol can be discharged as waste. The alcohol sits in the bladder until it is released. The blood alcohol concentration in your blood can drop, but it is still being held in your bladder, especially if you haven’t urinated for a while. This fact will make the alcohol content in the urine look higher than what it is in the blood. The first urine sample tends to be used in Minnesota by law enforcement rather than subsequent urine samples.

Challenging DWI Test Results

You don’t have to let faulty DWI chemical testing results cause you legal issues. If you have been pulled over for drunk driving, your attorney will be able to evaluate what happened during the arrest process and help you get the best possible result. Sometimes the results can be challenged to the point the charges are dismissed. Other times, the results can be challenged to the point that the charges are dismissed, which can reduce the penalties. With so many issues surrounding alcohol testing in Minnesota, there are many strategies that criminal defense attorneys are able to use to help clients move forward.

Experienced Minnesota DWI defense lawyers at Meaney & Patrin can help you in this difficult time. No matter what degree of DWI or DUI you are charged with, a criminal defense attorney can develop a strategy for defense that will ultimately lead to the most favorable outcome possible for your individual case. Call us today at 612-688-2299.



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