Defense attorneys have been questioning the accuracy ofI itoxilyzer tests for years now. They are calling O'Brien's ruling a victory for many DUI clients who say they were treated unfairly when they were pulled over and arrested for drinking and driving.
Judge O'Brien says Intoxilyzers allow police officers too much discretion in its results. Defense attorneys argue officers can make a subject blow longer than needed, resulting in a higher intoxication level.
"We're very happy that Judge O'Brien had the courage to make a decision on something that may be perceived as an unpopular ruling. No one wants someone to drink and drive, but O'Brien's ruling gets to the heart of what defense attorneys have been saying for years," says Lisa Anderson, defense attorney.
Prosecutors say officers are trained to use the machines accurately, and most other judges agree Intoxilyzers provide crucial evidence.
"We're disappointed because Judge O'Brien's decision not only differs from every other judge in the county; he also differs from any other judge in the state. We are appealing and hope they reverse his decision," says Steve Meadows, state attorney.
The ruling does allows Intoxilyzers results under certain circumstances, including an evaluation of the officer's performance at the scene and an expert witness to evaluate and explain the results.