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SF PD Breathalizer Calibration -- Oops!

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SF PD Breathalizer Calibration -- Oops!

Old 03-06-2012, 12:03 PM
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Default SF PD Breathalizer Calibration -- Oops!

Breathalyzer Calibration Miscue May Lead to hundreds of Tossed CA DUI Convictions.

Up to 1000 DUI convictions reaching back as far as 2006 in the city of San Francisco may be thrown out
after questions about how police calibrated alcohol screening devices used to test Blood Alcohol Content were raised by the San Francisco Public Defender’s office.


According to the San Francisco Chronicle, earlier this year, attorneys with the Public Defender’s office noticed that accuracy tests for San Francisco Police Department’s Alco-Sensor IV screening devices – in which the devices are calibrated by measuring the alcohol level in a gas canister – came up with the canister’s exact alcohol level every time, a result San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi called mathematically impossible.”

“The results that we have here plainly show that the accuracy testing was not being done,” said Adachi at a press conference this week. Furthermore, the canisters themselves were filled with gas that expired in September of 2010, further throwing the accuracy of the tests into dispute. The District Attorney’s office is cooperating with the Public Defenders office in identifying DUI convictions that could be affected by the recent revelations.

http://www.chicolawyers.com/breathal...i-convictions/
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:00 PM
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So every breathalzer in use by sfpd was out of calibration? There must be dozens in use
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:21 PM
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Do you think if the convictions are overturned, the respective insurance companies will refund the premium increases, do you think employers that fired the dui convicted will rehire or be open to law suits, or how about the county for financial injury.......how about the mental anguish......

Definitely a can of worms.....
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:43 PM
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The BAC test is only one part of a DUI.
In Illinois, when I was doing them, the ticket for blowing over the limit was a secondary ticket. You dont have to be over the legal limit o be DUI/Impaired. Take a small teenager who just drank his first couple beers for example.
What I am saying is that while the "Having a BAC in excess of xxx" ticket may get thrown out, the conviction for being impaired and in control of a vehicle which is based on observations, statements, etc, may very well stand.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:04 PM
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What a cluster #$@! that is going to be
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:24 PM
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So they are saying the machine is too accurate? Defense attorneys
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Demeanor View Post

What I am saying is that while the "Having a BAC in excess of xxx" ticket may get thrown out, the conviction for being impaired and in control of a vehicle which is based on observations, statements, etc, may very well stand.

Not in California. I guess it varies state by state. For the life of me I don't know why anyone would volunteer to blow into one of those machines. It is not required in California. If asked, we must submit to blood or urine testing, not breathalyzer. If we don't submit when asked, I think it is a 1-yr suspension. And the police have the right to collect evidence so they can forcefully collect a blood sample ... and they do.

The BAC level is now federalized at 0.08% ... if a state wants to receive the federal highway dollars.

"Impaired and in control"
is an oxymoron. Not something I would want to have to explain to a jury.
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:47 AM
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This will be a definite problem for SFPD, however Mr. Demeanor is correct, your BAC is only part of the puzzle when being charged with operating under the influence. The officers observations and several other factors determine if you are charged or not. There are plenty of people who are charged and convicted who refuse to take a breathalizer/urine/blood test.
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:52 AM
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I use a breathalyzer and have to calibrate it every 30 days. It prints out that calibration for my log. The previous 12 calibrations have given the exact same number. May be mathematically impossible as the attorney stated but it is what I have gotten.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:16 AM
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The manufacturer of the Alco-Sensor IV devices says police should conduct accuracy checks every 10 days, or after 150 tests, by using the device to measure the alcohol level in a gas canister. The canister's alcohol level is always the same - 0.082 percent.
Suspicious readings

In January, several attorneys for the public defender's office noticed that in police logs on the accuracy tests dating back to 2010, the devices were listed as reading the canister gas exactly correct every time, Adachi said at a press conference Monday.
There is nothing wrong with the machine. This is a story about a Public Defender trying to make a name for himself so he can go into private practice and make $$$. The test canister is 0.082 and the machine reads 0.082. Sounds like it works perfectly.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:43 AM
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Hmmmm is it possible the police would use entrapment methods
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by jaredsrt View Post
So they are saying the machine is too accurate? Defense attorneys
No - they are saying that they never tested them. Your boat has a 12v battery. It would be like saying the dealer checked every battery before selling the boats and they all read 12.0 volts. And then after you got teh boat, you checked in weekly, and each time it read exactly 12 volts. By having teh exact same number every time, it proved they weren't checking them at all, otherwise they would have numbers with slight fluctuations.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:07 PM
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I went to breath test operator school years ago. Whenever I would test the machine, the test would always show the same result, and it would always be what the test canister is. If it didn't get the right result then the machine is obviously malfunctioning.
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