Researchers warn police breathalyzer can produce incorrect breath test results, but their work came to a halt after legal pressure from the manufacturer

The source code behind a police breathalyzer widely used in multiple states — and millions of drunk driving arrests — is under fire.

It’s the latest case of technology and the real world colliding — one that revolves around source code, calibration of equipment, two researchers and legal maneuvering, state law enforcement agencies, and Draeger, the breathalyzer’s manufacturer.

This most recent skirmish began a decade ago when Washington state police sought to replace its aging fleet of breathalyzers. When the Washington police opened solicitations, the only bidder, Draeger, a German medical technology maker, won the contract to sell its flagship device, the Alcotest 9510, across the state.

But defense attorneys have long believed the breathalyzer is faulty.

Jason Lantz, a Washington-based defense lawyer, enlisted a software engineer and a security researcher to examine its source code. The two experts wrote in a preliminary report that they found flaws capable of producing incorrect breath test results. The defense hailed the results as a breakthrough, believing the findings could cast doubt on countless drunk-driving prosecutions.

The two distributed their early findings to attendees at a conference for defense lawyers, which Draeger said was in violation of a court-signed protective order the experts had agreed to, and the company threatened to sue.

Their research was left unfinished, and a final report was never completed.

READ FULL STORY

Your donations are essential, please help us survive.

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $5.00

One Reply to “Researchers warn police breathalyzer can produce incorrect breath test results, but their work came to a halt after legal pressure from the manufacturer”

  1. Understanding the things that I now understand, there’s not one doubt in my mind that these breathe-tests
    are designed to show positive for alcohol NO MATTER WHAT, even if you haven’t had a drink at all.
    It’s called “job security” for the cops, and the Judges and on and on.
    After all, you were going to have a drink….sometime in the future.
    Now….if we could just test the cops for pedophilia….same for the judges.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.