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Machine inaccuracy can raise serious DWI-linked questions

Hard-core defenders of police action who routinely endorse outcomes that penalize alleged offenders in criminal law matters do not often question evidence that is offered by law enforcers in pursuit of criminal convictions.

They usually applaud it. A commentator on a DWI stop and arrest who heartily supports a punitive result for a motorist, for example, will generally dismiss claims of human error, technological shortcomings and/or official misconduct argued by defense counsel.

More often than not, they will discredit allegations surrounding issues relevant to probable cause and an initial stop. They will see no problem with a police officer arguably making over-the-top subjective assessments in administering field sobriety tests. They will downplay concerns with errors linked to processes and state laws addressing chemical and blood testing.

In fact, such issues - and many additional concerns - arise in DWI stops and attendant police/driver interactions in Texas and across the country all the time. Police officers are human, and there are myriad steps they must lawfully follow when they stop and begin to question motorists on grounds that they are driving while intoxicated.

In tandem with the potential for human error during such an encounter is the oft-proven fact that officers' technological assists sometimes flatly don't work. We note on our criminal defense website at the San Marco law firm of Sergi & Associates, for example, that breathalyzer devices used to convict drivers of DWI "are often not calibrated correctly, meaning the results are faulty."

The results of that make a mockery of justice. Problems with breathalyzers (sometimes called Intoxilyzers) arise more often than many people think, and have obviously huge implications for America's criminal justice system.

We'll have something more to say about that in our next blog post.

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329 South Guadalupe Street
San Marcos, TX 78666

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