Minnesota’s Broken Breath Test Machine – The Short of It

Posted On May 23, 2019 Charles Ramsay

Earlier this week we posted our blog, “Broken Breath Tests in Minnesota.” Some of you thought we were too cryptic and have asked us to clarify our findings. Here's a more detailed outline of what we've uncovered to date, which manifests as either periodic or sporadic errors (we can't determine a rhyme or reason behind when these errors are triggered):

  1. The machine doesn’t measure what it is supposed to (erroneously adding to the alcohol result).

    1. Instead of measuring the amount of alcohol in a driver’s blood as it’s designed, it can measure the strength of alcohol in a person’s last drink sitting in their stomach;
    2. It treats and measures other chemicals in a person’s breath as alcohol (e.g., Acetone from diabetics, dieters and highly exercised individuals);
  2. Doesn’t measure how it’s supposed to.
    1. It accepts breath samples that are inconsistent with what the BCA has published and testified to.
    2. It’s reporting invalid samples as valid.
  3. And, as we’ve previously posted, even when it does measure properly, it reports results higher than what it actually measures!

And, we have no way of knowing just by looking at the 8 ½ X 11” test record whether it worked properly in that particular case. It may take weeks to obtain and review data to make such a determination . . . weeks after we've been hired to handle the case, which could have actually been days or weeks after the breath test was conducted.

Next up (for those of you craving more details): How we discovered these fatal flaws in Minnesota’s DataMaster Breath Test Machine.