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Burp v. Breathalyzer: Kentucky Supreme Court to decide issue in DUI case [View All]

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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 11:29 AM
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Burp v. Breathalyzer: Kentucky Supreme Court to decide issue in DUI case
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Source: Louisville Courier-Journal

When tested later at the Jefferson County jail, Howlett blew a 0.15 nearly twice the level at which drivers are presumed intoxicated in Kentucky. But before the test, Howlett later testified, he had burped.


But the manual for the Intoxilyzer 5000EN machine used in Kentucky says the operator must observe the suspect for 20 minutes before giving the test to ensure he avoids oral or nasal intake of substances which will affect the test.

If the subject regurgitates, the manual says, the operator should delay the breath test for an additional 20 minutes. The idea is to ensure that any residual alcohol in the mouth has dissipated, so the machine measures only the alcohol exhaled from the lungs.

Jefferson District Judge Donald Armstrong Jr. tried the case without a jury Jan. 26, (the trial was delayed for several years because of unrelated litigation over the Intoxilyzer) then thought about it overnight. He returned the next day and said he had a problem:

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Could have impact in courts across the country.
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