NYC Breathalyzers Called Into Question

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Screen Shot 2013-02-10 at 4.14.27 PMLawyers that handle vehicle and traffic law matters are familiar with the many ways to challenge a drinking and driving charge. One of those ways involves checking whether the police Breathalyzer was properly functioning, tested and maintained. This device measures how much alcohol is in one’s breath and then extrapolates a person’s blood-alcohol level.

A criminal lawyer recently un-covered in one of his cases that a NYC Breathalyzer machine was placed back into service without being repaired. The jury acquitted his client. This same lawyer, Adam Perlmutter, is now fighting with NYC to get 5 years of maintenance and repair records for all of the NYC Breathalyzer machines. He wants them released under the Freedom Of Information Act so he can determine whether (as he suspects) that this is a systemic problem.

If he is right, 1,000s of DWI defendants may be able to successfully defend charges against them. Last year, there were 9,643 DWI arrests so this could be a big deal. Stay tuned.

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