Minnesota Continues to Utilize Broken Intoxilyzer

Posted On April 20, 2011 by Charles Ramsay

Judge Abrams noted that Minnesota officials and the BCA have been aware of the broken Intoxilyzer since at least 2006, but have refused to install corrected software.

The slope detection software â?¦ does reject under somecircumstances samples which are valid. â?¦ In situations where this result has been reported due to slope acceptance criteria in the 240 version of the software, the BCA could have implemented corrective software but chose not to update the instruments. This conclusion is confirmed by the testimony of the BCA witnesses.

Now that Judge Abrams has made official findings that the Intoxilyzer 5000 software does not work properly and that the BCA has a fix to correct the problem, it would be reasonable to believe we would stop using these broken machines for DWI alcohol testing.

[T]he BCA was aware from the fall of 2006 onward that a change in the Source Code was made that caused, under some circumstances, previously acceptable breath samples to be rejected. This software, version 240, continues to be used with knowledge of this problem and without change or correction by the BCA.

Surprisingly, Minnesota continues to use these fatally flawed machines to revoke drivers' licenses and put innocent people in jail.


Perhaps the answer lies in the arrogance of state officials responsible for the use of the Intoxilyzer 5000EN. According to Judge Abrams:

There is a general perception that perfection and flawless operation is present in the Intoxilyzer and its test results. Those responsible for the operation and maintenance of the device have been defensive and at times outright hostile to the suggestion that problems may existâ?¦.

Luckily, we now have the evidence we need to suppress every Intoxilyzer test that reports a "deficient sample,| no matter how long the State continues to use this broken machine. Be sure to stick around for tomorrow's blog, where we detail how every case where the Intoxilyzer reported a deficient sample should be dismissed . . . and why.