The certification and accuracy of the machine used to administer your breath test play a crucial role in the state’s case against you. If it is discovered that the machine used for testing was not properly calibrated or tested, there are arguments to be made that the results of the test should be excluded since their accuracy cannot be verified. When it is revealed that the state is unable to prove the accuracy of a machine used for chemical testing in DUI cases, the implications can be significant and extend beyond individual cases, as illustrated by a recent ruling in Massachusetts, in which the Supreme Court of Massachusetts determined that results from machines that were not properly calibrated over several years were inadmissible. It is estimated that this decision will impact over 27,000 convictions, making it one of the most significant rulings in favor of DUI defendants in recent memory. If you are facing a DUI charge, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a skilled Illinois DUI attorney who can thoroughly analyze the accuracy of any evidence that may be used against you.
The Massachusetts Ruling
It is reported that the highest court in Massachusetts has made a ruling that allows 27,000 individuals who either pleaded guilty or were convicted of drunk driving charges to have another chance. This decision was reached after an investigation in 2019 revealed that breathalyzer testing machines were not properly calibrated, resulting in inaccurate test results. The court found serious misconduct on the part of the government and decided that all tests conducted by the faulty machine between June 2011, and April 2019, should be excluded from criminal prosecutions. Allegedly, as a result of this ruling, individuals who were convicted or pleaded guilty based on breathalyzer evidence can now request to have their pleas withdrawn or ask for a new trial. This situation is drawing parallels to the state lab scandal, where numerous drug cases were dismissed due to evidence tampering by chemists.
Illinois Breathalyzer Standards
Similar to Massachusetts, Illinois has implemented regulations that require the state to follow testing guidelines for any device used to measure blood alcohol levels, ensuring the accuracy of breath test results. If it is proven that the results from a blood or breath test are unreliable, they cannot be used as evidence. Since the state often relies on test results to establish the guilt of a DUI suspect beyond a reasonable doubt, the absence of such test evidence can create challenges for the prosecution.
Additionally, the courts in Illinois have overturned convictions in DUI cases when it was determined that the state failed to properly verify the precision of the breath test device used. This indicates that the courts prioritize the accurate functioning and calibration of testing equipment in order to ensure fair proceedings.
Talk to a Skilled Illinois DUI Defense Attorney
The state has a duty to ensure that the machines used to conduct chemical tests are properly calibrated, and if they are not, the results from such tests may be invalid. If you are charged with a DUI offense in Illinois, it is in your best interest to talk to an attorney. Theodore J. Harvatin of the Harvatin Law Offices, PC, is a skilled Illinois DUI defense lawyer with the knowledge and resources needed to help you seek a favorable result. You can contact Mr. Harvatin by calling 217.525.0520 or using the form online to set up a conference.