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Blowing Hot Air: Will Breathalyzers Become Inadmissible?

The Supreme Court of Florida heard oral arguments this week for a case that could affect the tens of thousands of Florida drivers who are subjected to breathalyzer exams every year. The defending in the party seeks to obtain certain documents pertaining to the alcohol testing technology used to prove their intoxication while driving. The documents would serve to verify that the test results were in fact valid and not just a glitch in the technology – a detail essential to the case of the prosecutors.

With the legal documents in a different state and conflicting state laws making a subpoena unlikely, the justices of the Court seem sympathetic to the three defendants' desire for full disclosure. The risk of a false reading cannot be ruled out without the documents. Without ruling that risk, the Court is concerned that a decision against the defendants could very well be unfair.

Since the documents are stuck in Kansas, where the manufacturing headquarters for the technology is, the Supreme Court may very well be led to revising the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure so that results from that brand of breathalyzers would become inadmissible in any court. This decision would have to be unilateral by the court and since the company may still decide to release the documents, the court has not yet decided to take such a drastic course of action. Ultimately, both parties will have to way and see if the documents will ever arrive to the courtroom for the trial to continue.

At Thomas & Paulk, P.A., we are dedicated to keeping up with the most recent changes in Florida DUI laws so that we are able to provide our clients with the quality representation they deserve. If you or a loved one is being charged with a DUI related offense, contact our office today to find out how one of our skilled DUI defense attorneys in Tampa can help you.

Tampa DUI Defense Attorney Thomas & Paulk, P.A. Attorneys at Law