Supreme Court Rules That Intoxilyzer Source Code Be Turned Over To Defense Attorneys In Order To Fight Drunk Driving Charges

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In a recent high profile case, a drunken driving defendant sued for the right to the source code for the Intoxilyzer 5000EN in order to fight his charges in court. The Supreme Court recently ruled in the defendant's favor.

When Dale Lee Underdahl was arrested in February 2006, his DUI lawyers launched an interesting defense claiming that they required the source code for the breathalyzer machine that showed he was over the legal limits for alcohol. After legal wrangling for the past year and a half, the State of Minnesota Supreme Court in case #A06-1000 has now ruled that it is the defendant's right to have access to the source code.

Breathalyzers are essentially mini computers that analyze the breath blown into it. The source code is what makes the machine run and ultimately tells the police officer if the driver is under or over the legal limit. The defendant in this case alleges that not he nor the courts or the police could know definitively that the breathalyzer unit used would yield valid results.    

The breathalyzer under fire in this case is the Intoxilyzer 5000 EN, built by CMI and is used in more than 20 states. The lawsuit alleges that this model is based on an ancient Z-80 processor, which was used to power the Radio Shack TRS-80 desktop computer, first available for sale in 1977.

"As far as Minnesota DUI's are concerned, this case is garnering a lot of press and discussion amongst the legal community," comments Douglas Kans, a Minnesota DUI attorney. "If the Breathalyzer really is using outdated technology, then every defendant has a right to analyze the machine and the source code that has essentially put them legal trouble. The Supreme Court recognized that right and has ruled accordingly," Kans explains.

Kans continues, "Just like Mr. Underdahl, every Minnesota DUI defendant has the right to vigorously defend the charges against him using all avenues possible."

Anyone interested in learning more about Mr. Kans success in Minnesota DUI cases is encouraged to contact him directly. This case originated in Hastings Minnesota, out of Dakota County District Court.

For over a decade, Mr. Kans has dedicated himself solely to defending individuals charged with crimes. Over this period, he has earned the respect of fellow colleagues, prosecutors, and Judges throughout the State of Minnesota. Mr. Kans has successfully litigated and negotiated hundreds of criminal cases during his career. He has had many proud achievements, but none is as important as the personal satisfaction he receives from working hard and achieving wonderful results for his clients.


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Douglas Kans
Kans Law
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