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(STLToday)   Accused drunk drivers could get licenses back after state accidentally requires breathalyzers to be accurate   (stltoday.com) divider line 46
    More: Interesting, St. Charles County, Missouri, Department of Revenue, St. Charles, Department of Health  
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5061 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Feb 2014 at 1:27 PM (42 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



46 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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gja [TotalFark]
2014-02-27 01:29:37 PM  
Cops.....
 
2014-02-27 01:32:07 PM  
Oh yea, because calibrating equipment to ensure proper readings is sooooooo hard!

/grumpycatgood
 
2014-02-27 01:37:10 PM  
I was busted for a DUI and even though I wasn't even in my car at the time of arrest, I was guilty of DUI before that. I doubt the majority of DUI arrests are because of faulty breathalyzers.

DUI arrests are a money making scheme for the most part and the .08 level is silly but I don't think there are a lot of people unfairly arrested because of faulty breathalyzers.
 
2014-02-27 01:42:22 PM  
You don't need a GED in metrology to know that calibrating the machine to .08 (the magic number) or .04 (half the magic number) is not good practice.
 
2014-02-27 01:44:06 PM  
In both cases the drivers were able to have the suspension of their drivers licenses lifted. A Department of Revenue attorney disagreed at the hearings.

Why the fark is a "Department of Revenue" attorney testifying for a god damn criminal action punishment? Shouldn't someone from the Department of Motor Vehicles be there instead? No, cause it's NEVER about punishment, just revenue income.
 
2014-02-27 01:44:25 PM  
Everybody involved with falsifying the machines needs to hang.  
Everybody involved with convictions utilizing falsified machines needs to hang.

Everybody convicted using falsified machines needs to be compensated with at least a million tax free dollars and a portion of the estates of the recently hung.
 
2014-02-27 01:45:24 PM  

Mugato: I was busted for a DUI and even though I wasn't even in my car at the time of arrest, I was guilty of DUI before that. I doubt the majority of DUI arrests are because of faulty breathalyzers.

DUI arrests are a money making scheme for the most part and the .08 level is silly but I don't think there are a lot of people unfairly arrested because of faulty breathalyzers.


Like you, I wasn't in my car at the time either.  My car was upsidedown in the weeds.
 
2014-02-27 01:47:43 PM  

jayphat: Why the fark is a "Department of Revenue" attorney testifying for a god damn criminal action punishment? Shouldn't someone from the Department of Motor Vehicles be there instead? No, cause it's NEVER about punishment, just revenue income.


The fact that a Dept. of Revenue is involved in this shows what a big portion of the problem is.
 
2014-02-27 01:50:17 PM  
Time to post this again.
 
2014-02-27 01:50:31 PM  
Here's a compelling argument against the craziness that is modern DUI legislation.

Fascinating read.
 
2014-02-27 01:52:53 PM  
Defense:  "Your Honor, my client was convicted because of a machine that wasn't calibrated per the law at the time.  I want the charges dropped."

Prosecution: "Here's an affidavit from the machine's manufacturer stating that the calibration performed was sufficient to insure accurate results."

Judge:  "Motion to dismiss denied, thanks for playing."


Seems pretty straightforward to me - but then again I'm not a dumbass lawyer, just an engineer.
 
2014-02-27 01:55:20 PM  

jayphat: Why the fark is a "Department of Revenue" attorney testifying for a god damn criminal action punishment? Shouldn't someone from the Department of Motor Vehicles be there instead?


Maybe because in Missouri the "Department of Revenue" issues driver licenses and there is no "Department of Motor Vehicles"?
 
2014-02-27 01:56:17 PM  

DontMakeMeComeBackThere: Defense:  "Your Honor, my client was convicted because of a machine that wasn't calibrated per the law at the time.  I want the charges dropped."

Prosecution: "Here's an affidavit from the machine's manufacturer stating that the calibration performed was sufficient to insure accurate results."

Judge:  "Motion to dismiss denied, thanks for playing."


Seems pretty straightforward to me - but then again I'm not a dumbass lawyer politician who wrote the law, just an engineer.

FTFY
 
2014-02-27 01:58:18 PM  

Nutcase69: jayphat: Why the fark is a "Department of Revenue" attorney testifying for a god damn criminal action punishment? Shouldn't someone from the Department of Motor Vehicles be there instead?

Maybe because in Missouri the "Department of Revenue" issues driver licenses and there is no "Department of Motor Vehicles"?


That to me is astounding. I can understand a Department of Taxation, but Revenue? It's not the government's job to make money.
 
2014-02-27 01:58:24 PM  
What, a crude instrument with a 1-point calibration isn't good enough to hang someone's guilt or innocence on?  What ever happened to being tough on crime, whether or not it actually occurred?!


fc01.deviantart.net
 
2014-02-27 02:00:02 PM  

jayphat: That to me is astounding. I can understand a Department of Taxation, but Revenue? It's not the government's job to make money.


"Revenue" and "Profit" are not synonymous.

Also, I suggest you check out what "IRS" actually stands for.  The answer may be shocking!
 
2014-02-27 02:01:42 PM  

AugieDoggyDaddy: You don't need a GED in metrology to know that calibrating the machine to .08 (the magic number) or .04 (half the magic number) is not good practice.


I think the manufacturers have different calibration procedures, so the legislation was trying to accommodate the different options. It definitely should be an "or", not an "and". But it's cool, those of us over here and used to being laughed at. It's been a while since legitimate rape dude, and we kinda miss the attention...
 
2014-02-27 02:03:11 PM  
I fear for our children.

On a side note, I have heard that a few drops of ethyl alcohol on the tongue causes an unbelievable result.  If so, does it dissipate quickly as to screw with the cops when they did it the second time at the station.

"But Bob, he blew a .27 earlier.  Now it is showing .00.  What gives?"
 
2014-02-27 02:03:41 PM  

jshine: jayphat: That to me is astounding. I can understand a Department of Taxation, but Revenue? It's not the government's job to make money.

"Revenue" and "Profit" are not synonymous.

Also, I suggest you check out what "IRS" actually stands for.  The answer may be shocking!


Touche'. Perhaps I should have worded it different, I just cannot for the life of me understand why a state department exists like that. I'm gonna do some Google-fu and read into it.
 
2014-02-27 02:04:22 PM  
Breath does not equal blood.
 
2014-02-27 02:05:03 PM  

DontMakeMeComeBackThere: Defense:  "Your Honor, my client was convicted because of a machine that wasn't calibrated per the law at the time.  I want the charges dropped."

Prosecution: "Here's an affidavit from the machine's manufacturer stating that the calibration performed was sufficient to insure accurate results."

Judge:  "Motion to dismiss denied, thanks for playing."


Seems pretty straightforward to me - but then again I'm not a dumbass lawyer, just an engineer.


One might argue under the doctrine of unclean hands.  It's a stretch, but... If the state commits a crime in their attempts to convict me of a crime, it should be at least given weight, if not thrown out, on the basis that their hands are unclean as well.  Kind of a modern version of "let (only) he who is without sin cast stones".

It's a stretch, but hey, violating Law A to secure a conviction is the same as violating law B, that whole warrant and search thing.
 
2014-02-27 02:07:47 PM  

mjbok: jayphat: Why the fark is a "Department of Revenue" attorney testifying for a god damn criminal action punishment? Shouldn't someone from the Department of Motor Vehicles be there instead? No, cause it's NEVER about punishment, just revenue income.

The fact that a Dept. of Revenue is involved in this shows what a big portion of the problem is.


You think that's bad, the Public Defender's office here in New Mexico was, up until a constitutional amendment passed during the 2012 election to change the law, a division of the Department of Corrections.

I've lived in both states, and both are crooked as hell.
 
2014-02-27 02:10:33 PM  

jayphat: jshine: jayphat: That to me is astounding. I can understand a Department of Taxation, but Revenue? It's not the government's job to make money.

"Revenue" and "Profit" are not synonymous.

Also, I suggest you check out what "IRS" actually stands for.  The answer may be shocking!

Touche'. Perhaps I should have worded it different, I just cannot for the life of me understand why a state department exists like that. I'm gonna do some Google-fu and read into it.


So I've looked into it and the organization of the state is unique, tat's for sure. Never seen taxation and motor vehicles under the same headline.
 
2014-02-27 02:14:51 PM  
I believe some people missed the point of the loop hold... The question is whether it says:

Tested at both (0.80, 0.10) AND (0.04)
        or
Tested at Either (0.80 OR 0.10) AND (0.04)

So its do we test at all 3 or does the and mean one from the first set and the one in the second "set".

That could go either way actually, the law was poorly worded. I would personally interpret it at all 3 because common sense but there is definitely wiggle room.
 
2014-02-27 02:17:23 PM  

DontMakeMeComeBackThere: Defense:  "Your Honor, my client was convicted because of a machine that wasn't calibrated per the law at the time.  I want the charges dropped."

Prosecution: "Here's an affidavit from the machine's manufacturer stating that the calibration performed was sufficient to insure accurate results."

Judge:  "Motion to dismiss denied, thanks for playing."


Seems pretty straightforward to me - but then again I'm not a dumbass lawyer, just an engineer.


Then the legal calibration procedures should have been worded "must be calibrated according to the manufacturer's specifications", and not "must be calibrated to 0.x%, 0.y% and/or 0.z%".  They weren't written that way, so the evidence obtained from that particular device isn't admissible.
 
2014-02-27 02:18:30 PM  

jayphat: In both cases the drivers were able to have the suspension of their drivers licenses lifted. A Department of Revenue attorney disagreed at the hearings.

Why the fark is a "Department of Revenue" attorney testifying for a god damn criminal action punishment? Shouldn't someone from the Department of Motor Vehicles be there instead? No, cause it's NEVER about punishment, just revenue income.


Missouri doesn't have a DMV, licensing is done through the department of revenue.
 
2014-02-27 02:19:41 PM  

jayphat: Nutcase69: jayphat: Why the fark is a "Department of Revenue" attorney testifying for a god damn criminal action punishment? Shouldn't someone from the Department of Motor Vehicles be there instead?

Maybe because in Missouri the "Department of Revenue" issues driver licenses and there is no "Department of Motor Vehicles"?

That to me is astounding. I can understand a Department of Taxation, but Revenue? It's not the government's job to make money.



You could make your own, but it is risky.ts1.mm.bing.net
 
2014-02-27 02:21:01 PM  

DrPainMD: Time to post this again.


That was fascinating... thanks.
 
2014-02-27 02:22:25 PM  
"Defense attorneys in recent months noticed an apparent loophole in the regulations from Nov. 30, 2012 to Jan. 29. During those 14 months, the regulations said breath analysis equipment was supposed to be tested to the level of 0.10 percent, 0.08 percent and 0.04 percent. Some interpret the "and" to mean equipment must be calibrated to each of the three levels."

Who, other than a complete idiot, wouldn't interpret the "and" to mean all three levels.  WTF could they possibly interpret it as other than that??
 
2014-02-27 02:23:12 PM  

tonygotskilz: I believe some people missed the point of the loop hold... The question is whether it says:

Tested at both (0.80, 0.10) AND (0.04)
        or
Tested at Either (0.80 OR 0.10) AND (0.04)

So its do we test at all 3 or does the and mean one from the first set and the one in the second "set".

That could go either way actually, the law was poorly worded. I would personally interpret it at all 3 because common sense but there is definitely wiggle room.


It wasn't quite that nebulous.  According to the article it was originally "x, y or z", but was re-written "x, y, and z".  The language is pretty clear.  It's also pretty clear that it was a mistake to write it this way, but it certainly wouldn't be the first time a clerical error resulted in people getting off the hook.
 
2014-02-27 02:32:26 PM  

GanjSmokr: Who, other than a complete idiot, wouldn't interpret the "and" to mean all three levels. WTF could they possibly interpret it as other than that??


Well, to be fair, if the first part of the sentence were worded badly enough, it could be unclear. Like if it said, "The breathalyzer models T-65, RZ1-A, and YT-1300* are to be calibrated to 0.04%, 0.08% and 1.0%..." does that mean each to its respective number, or all three to all three numbers?

*you're all clear, kid
 
2014-02-27 02:46:03 PM  

Z-clipped: GanjSmokr: Who, other than a complete idiot, wouldn't interpret the "and" to mean all three levels. WTF could they possibly interpret it as other than that??

Well, to be fair, if the first part of the sentence were worded badly enough, it could be unclear. Like if it said, "The breathalyzer models T-65, RZ1-A, and YT-1300* are to be calibrated to 0.04%, 0.08% and 1.0%..." does that mean each to its respective number, or all three to all three numbers?

*you're all clear, kid


If the word "respectively" was not at the end of the sentence, I would (and I believe any other thinking person would) believe it to be saying that all the models needed to be calibrated to all 3 levels.
 
2014-02-27 02:57:05 PM  

GanjSmokr: If the word "respectively" was not at the end of the sentence, I would (and I believe any other thinking person would) believe it to be saying that all the models needed to be calibrated to all 3 levels.


I'm not saying it's a well-written sentence, but consider this one:

"Put the knife, cookies, and milk in the drawer, jar, and refrigerator."

Obviously, the writer is implying "respectively", albeit rather clumsily.
 
2014-02-27 03:06:06 PM  

Z-clipped: Obviously, the writer is implying "respectively", albeit rather clumsily.


There should not be any implying when it comes to the law.
 
2014-02-27 03:09:22 PM  

Z-clipped: GanjSmokr: If the word "respectively" was not at the end of the sentence, I would (and I believe any other thinking person would) believe it to be saying that all the models needed to be calibrated to all 3 levels.

I'm not saying it's a well-written sentence, but consider this one:

"Put the knife, cookies, and milk in the drawer, jar, and refrigerator."

Obviously, the writer is implying "respectively", albeit rather clumsily.


And (IMHO) the "respectively" can be easily inferred in that sentence, as nobody would ask you to put all those items into each of those spaces.  Just as (again, IMHO) it can be easily inferred that they did not mean that each device had a different number to calibrate to.
 
2014-02-27 03:10:07 PM  

mjbok: There should not be any implying when it comes to the law


And this.
 
2014-02-27 03:18:01 PM  

Z-clipped: DontMakeMeComeBackThere: Defense:  "Your Honor, my client was convicted because of a machine that wasn't calibrated per the law at the time.  I want the charges dropped."

Prosecution: "Here's an affidavit from the machine's manufacturer stating that the calibration performed was sufficient to insure accurate results."

Judge:  "Motion to dismiss denied, thanks for playing."


Seems pretty straightforward to me - but then again I'm not a dumbass lawyer, just an engineer.

Then the legal calibration procedures should have been worded "must be calibrated according to the manufacturer's specifications", and not "must be calibrated to 0.x%, 0.y% and/or 0.z%".  They weren't written that way, so the evidence obtained from that particular device isn't admissible.


Calibrating to the manufacturer's specifications is stupid.

You see, these things are black boxes.  They have a sensor and a computer inside.  And we have NO IDEA what that computer is programmed to do.  It could be (and probably is, given that the pressure on the manufacturer is from police, not the accused) programmed to do all sorts of evil things.  The manufacturers refuse to turn over the code, and the courts have so far only managed to force them to do so for one model.  The results were pretty bad.

Testing to manufacturer's specifications will likely always produce a "it's working fine" result, at least until it's old enough that the manufacturer wants to force purchase of the newest model.
 
2014-02-27 03:25:06 PM  

mjbok: There should not be any implying when it comes to the law.


I agree 100%.  IMO, the judge always has a responsibility to err on the side of the defendant in the case of badly written laws.  I'm just engaging in an interesting side debate about whether a circumstance exists where the meaning of "and" could be ambiguous, (not claiming that it is in this particular case).

GanjSmokr: And (IMHO) the "respectively" can be easily inferred in that sentence, as nobody would ask you to put all those items into each of those spaces. Just as (again, IMHO) it can be easily inferred that they did not mean that each device had a different number to calibrate to.


OK, now imagine that the sentence before "The breathalyzer models T-65, RZ1-A, and YT-1300* are to be calibrated to 0.04%, 0.08% and 1.0%..."clearly stated that each model has its own specific calibration value, but didn't specifically say that only that value should be used.

Again, I'm not saying that reading in "respectively" would be obligatory in this case... only that some confusion is introduced into the meaning.  We don't actually know the wording of the law discussed in TFA, and I'm not making any claims about it.  I'm just saying that "and" isn't necessarily always clear in a sentence like this.

In other words, I'm not arguing with you.  Just engaging in some interesting discussion of language.
 
2014-02-27 03:29:26 PM  

DarkVader: Z-clipped: DontMakeMeComeBackThere: Defense:  "Your Honor, my client was convicted because of a machine that wasn't calibrated per the law at the time.  I want the charges dropped."

Prosecution: "Here's an affidavit from the machine's manufacturer stating that the calibration performed was sufficient to insure accurate results."

Judge:  "Motion to dismiss denied, thanks for playing."


Seems pretty straightforward to me - but then again I'm not a dumbass lawyer, just an engineer.

Then the legal calibration procedures should have been worded "must be calibrated according to the manufacturer's specifications", and not "must be calibrated to 0.x%, 0.y% and/or 0.z%".  They weren't written that way, so the evidence obtained from that particular device isn't admissible.

Calibrating to the manufacturer's specifications is stupid.

You see, these things are black boxes.  They have a sensor and a computer inside.  And we have NO IDEA what that computer is programmed to do.  It could be (and probably is, given that the pressure on the manufacturer is from police, not the accused) programmed to do all sorts of evil things.  The manufacturers refuse to turn over the code, and the courts have so far only managed to force them to do so for one model.  The results were pretty bad.

Testing to manufacturer's specifications will likely always produce a "it's working fine" result, at least until it's old enough that the manufacturer wants to force purchase of the newest model.


Oh, I completely agree.  These things are almost certainly rigged to produce false positives (like drug sniffing dogs), and the entire DWI process is pretty much a scam. I was just saying that when it comes to the law, wording is everything.
 
2014-02-27 03:43:24 PM  
Z-clipped: GanjSmokr: And (IMHO) the "respectively" can be easily inferred in that sentence, as nobody would ask you to put all those items into each of those spaces. Just as (again, IMHO) it can be easily inferred that they did not mean that each device had a different number to calibrate to.

OK, now imagine that the sentence before "The breathalyzer models T-65, RZ1-A, and YT-1300* are to be calibrated to 0.04%, 0.08% and 1.0%..."clearly stated that each model has its own specific calibration value, but didn't specifically say that only that value should be used.

Again, I'm not saying that reading in "respectively" would be obligatory in this case... only that some confusion is introduced into the meaning.  We don't actually know the wording of the law discussed in TFA, and I'm not making any claims about it.  I'm just saying that "and" isn't necessarily always clear in a sentence like this.

In other words, I'm not arguing with you.  Just engaging in some interesting discussion of language.


Yea I didn't think we were necessarily arguing, just discussing.

Again, using the same sentence ("The breathalyzer models T-65, RZ1-A, and YT-1300* are to be calibrated to 0.04%, 0.08% and 1.0%... ") I would not read it as one specific calibration value per each device, I'd read it as the values that all mentioned devices must be calibrated to.

I can see how others might interpret it in a different way, but I don't feel that any other way would be the logical way to interpret it.
 
2014-02-27 04:08:55 PM  

jayphat: In both cases the drivers were able to have the suspension of their drivers licenses lifted. A Department of Revenue attorney disagreed at the hearings.

Why the fark is a "Department of Revenue" attorney testifying for a god damn criminal action punishment? Shouldn't someone from the Department of Motor Vehicles be there instead? No, cause it's NEVER about punishment, just revenue income.


My guess is that that is who is responsible for it. In Indiana the Department of Toxicology is part of IU so the guy testifying would be from Indiana University. Every state tucks them in at a different place.
 
2014-02-27 04:54:51 PM  

Z-clipped: I'm just saying that "and" isn't necessarily always clear in a sentence like this.


moodyeyeview.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-02-27 05:36:26 PM  
I love it.

No so much because drunk drivers can get off when they in fact deserve to be convicted, though.

I love it because, to paraphrase:  So people view the AND to mean that it should be calibrated at all three levels.

No screaming eagle shiat.

I would love to hear the reasoning of any intelligent being that views the AND to mean anything else.

Can I believe they meant "or"?  Sure I can.

Did they say "or'?  No, I believe they did not.

Can they change it?  Yes.

Can they change it retroactively?  Possibly, but I certainly believe they should not be able to.
 
2014-02-27 05:50:28 PM  
DarkVader:

You see, these things are black boxes.  They have a sensor and a computer inside.  And we have NO IDEA what that computer is programmed to do.  It could be (and probably is, given that the pressure on the manufacturer is from police, not the accused) programmed to do all sorts of evil things.  The manufacturers refuse to turn over the code, and the courts have so far only managed to force them to do so for one model.  The results were pretty bad.

Testing to manufacturer's specifications will likely always produce a "it's working fine" result, at least until it's old enough that the manufacturer wants to force purchase of the newest model.


I just read that report, and now fully understand why the manufacturers and prosecutors have been resisting any attempts to see the source code for those things.

Beside the fact that they only want to calibrate them to one point, the whole "if self test returns out of range value, replace with high value" part doesn't instill much confidence in those things being anything other than a magic number generator.
 
2014-02-28 07:00:16 AM  
 
2014-02-28 07:27:10 AM  

GanjSmokr: mjbok: There should not be any implying when it comes to the law

And this.


You, sirs, must be Constitution-hating, Satan-worshipping, tofu-eating terrorists with that kind of thinking and I'm shocked to find you on FARK~
 
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