Douglas County court the latest to reject Breathalyzer suppression – bigcountrynewsconnection.com

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Updated: November 16, 2022 @ 12:41 pm
Drager breathalyzer. 

Drager breathalyzer. 
EAST WENATCHEE — District courts in both Chelan and Douglas counties last week refused to follow Kitsap County in invalidating local DUI cases over admitted flaws in how Breathalyzer readings are calculated.
On Friday, Douglas County District Court Judge Eric Biggar became the latest to turn down a motion by DUI attorneys to throw out Breathalyzer evidence in multiple drunken-driving arrests. The defendants pointed to a Kitsap County case which found that state-administered Breathalyzer machines failed for years to calculate their blood-alcohol readings in accordance with state regulations.
Chelan County’s two District Court judges similarly ruled against the suppression motion Nov. 8. 
In the Kitsap County case, judges ruled in June that the Washington State Patrol toxicologist, whose office maintains Drager Breathalyzer machines throughout the state, failed to follow its own rules to ensure the machines’ accuracy for over a decade. The Washington Administrative Code required the Drager’s results be “rounded” to the fourth decimal place, but instead, they were truncated. 
East Wenatchee attorney John Brangwin and partner attorneys in the Wenatchee Valley motions said because the machines were not programmed in accordance with the state code, their results should not be accepted as evidence in DUI trials.
But Chelan County’s judges ruled the Drager data could be introduced if it was supported by expert testimony, such as from an accredited Breathalyzer operator. Biggar ruled similarly. 
Brangwin said Friday his team plans to introduce a new motion to dismiss or suppress the Breathalyzer evidence under a claim of government misconduct. “We certainly are not done with our efforts to require the state to have come accountability when it comes to its breath test program,” Brangwin said.
Originally published on ncwlife.com, part of the TownNews Content Exchange.
Sunshine and clouds mixed. Temps nearly steady in the mid 30s. Winds light and variable.
Mostly cloudy skies. Low 29F. Winds light and variable.
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