KENT, Wash. - Another judge has determined the results of a breathalyzer used by all law enforcement in the state cannot be used as evidence in a DUI case.
Kent Municipal Court Judge Anthony Gipe ruled the results in a specific case could not be admissible in court because the breathalyzer’s software "did not utilize the formula" required by state law.
This follows a ruling from the Kitsap County District Court earlier in June. The court blamed the Washington State Toxicologist for the potential unwinding of previous DUI cases, as the breathalyzer results used as evidence in those cases were not in line with state requirements.
The Dräger breathalyzer is a device that is used to test a person’s blood-alcohol level and is used by nearly every law enforcement agency in the state.
Instead of rounding the level to three decimal points, the calculation required by state law, the Dräger machine takes four samples, calculates the median, and then truncates the number to several decimal points.
The four Kitsap County judges wrote an 89-page ruling suspending the admissibility of Dräger results in court going forward.
That ruling applies to just Kitsap County cases. The Kent decision effects just a single case, but could be used to overturn or recalculate sentences in municipal DUI cases.