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Friday, March 14, 2008

St. Paddy's Day means green for DUI defense lawyers

St. Patrick's Day will undoubtedly be a busy day for DUI lawyers, who will probably be too busy responding to those late night calls to do much celebrating themselves. Law enforcement officials are already making the annual promises of crackdowns for all those late-night leprechauns who have a wee bit to much.

Actually, DUI is a serious issue, so I don't want to make too light of the proclivity of some to overindulge on March 17. However, the usual slew of St. Paddy's Day DUI arrests come at an interesting time with the use of breath-test results in DUI prosecutions under so much fire. The Intoxilyzer's maker has ignored numerous court orders compelling it to produce the source code needed to verify the reliability of the device. This recalcitrance may prove a lucky charm for some clients who are given the breath test and flunk, with courts in some cases refusing to admit the results. Other drivers will have to submit to blood or urine tests in jurisdictions that have put on hold their use of the breath test.

Meanwhile, defense lawyers with pending DUI cases wait to see if the state's recent decision to file a lawsuit against the Intoxilyzer maker will finally convince the company to produce the source code. The company's steadfast refusal to do so up to this point has really gotten the defense bar's Irish up.

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