Minnesota AG Encouraged Concealment of Intoxilyzer's Critical Defects

Posted On June 06, 2008 by Charles Ramsay

Minnesota DWI Lawyer Exposes "Smoking Gun" Proving Need for Software Review

Criminal Defense Attorney Chuck Ramsay announced today that he will intercede in the Minnesota Department of Public Safety's federal lawsuit against Intoxilyzer manufacturer CMI of Kentucky, Inc.

In March 2008, The Minnesota Attorney General filed a federal suit against CMI on behalf of the Minnesota's Commissioner of Public Safety. The suit alleges that CMI breached the contract for the sale and maintenance of a fleet of evidentiary breath test instruments to be used by the State, for the purpose of investigating and prosecuting drunk driving cases.

CMI agreed in the contract to sell and maintain the fleet of instruments and to release the software when ordered by the courts. CMI also expressly agreed that any intellectual property material originating and arising out of the contract would become the sole property of the State. CMI breached both of those obligations.

Ramsay believes the state filed suit only in response to judges' complaints of the attorney general's lackluster response to aggressive litigation by leading criminal defense attorneys demanding access to the software.

Ramsay states that as early as 2006, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) knew its 200 plus Intoxilyzers were broken. Minnesota's Intoxilyzer 5000 displays a driver's alcohol results on its LED readout, yet sporadically records a higher result on the final test record. The state discovered this and other fatal defects after hastily installing the current Intoxilyzer software in 2005. The BCA documented the critical errors in an email it sent to CMI.

Ramsay labeled the document the "smoking gun," which evidences the need for independent review of the Intoxilyzer's software.

Despite the critical flaws, the State continues to use the bug-riddled software as the foundation of its breath testing program. According to the BCA's 2006 annual report, the state tested nearly 34,000 citizens with the current Intoxilyzer and software.

The BCA has not fixed the broken machines on the advice the AG's office according to one BCA source. The AG, fearing an escalation in the so-called source code challenge, advised the BCA to wait until the software challenge had lost momentum. Concealing the information was essential to winning the software battle against defense attorneys.

Ramsay is intervening on behalf of four of his clients in the federal lawsuit the state filed against the manufacturer. "Its clear the AG will not protect the rights of Minnesotan's in that law suit. I'm intervening to ensure justice prevails. Otherwise, the AG will use this case only for appearance."

"These black boxes not only deprive citizens' of their right to drive, but also wrecks lives and puts innocent people in jail. The Minnesota Attorney General, our state's chief prosecutor, chooses to protect the interests of a secretive, foreign company rather than fight for the constitutional rights of Minnesota citizens. Most alarming, is that the AG encouraged the cover-up of a fatally flawed breath machine, a contraption that the public, police and courts believed, and still believe, to be 100% accurate."

Ramsay demands the state shut down its breath testing program immediately. Until the state fixes the errors and a reputable, independent agency certifies the machines to be scientifically valid, reliable and accurate, the test results are worthless.

If the state is trying to use an Intoxilyzer test to take your license or put you in jail, contact Chuck Ramsay immediately. With his knowledge, experience and skill, he can restore your license, liberty and dignity.

Charles A. Ramsay

Attorney at Law



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Roseville, MN 55113

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