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Attention drunkards
This can safe your driving license
jecasc




msg:319676
 11:43 am on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

"The maker of the Intoxilyzer 5000 breathalyzer, CMI Inc., has informed prosecutors involved in several DUI cases in Sarasota County, Florida, that it will not assist prosecutors in complying with a judicial order to allow an expert hired by defense attorneys to review the source code for software used in the device."

Does anybody have an open source breathalyzer?

[trends.newsforge.com...]
[groklaw.net...]

 

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:319677
 12:31 pm on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Lawman, I think this is your area ;)

lawman




msg:319678
 12:40 pm on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

This particular device, in one form or another, has been in use by several states (including my own) for several years. The basic software is modified for each state's requirements.

Compared to most states, Florida is very progressive when it comes to scientific evidence. I've seen the judicial order in question. The maker of this particular device has a history of stonewalling defense attempts to get information. With an order of compliance now issued, it looks like their intransigence could result in the exclusion of breath test results from evidence at trial.

From CMI's own Statement of Warranty:

"There are no warranties expressed or implied, including but not limited to, any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose."

jecasc




msg:319679
 2:17 pm on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

it looks like their intransigence could result in the exclusion of breath test results from evidence at trial.

Then pull up your sleeves for blood tests everybody.

Leosghost




msg:319680
 2:53 pm on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Someone here in France recently got their conviction for drunk driving quashed when it was revealed that to save money police and gendarmes ( not the same thing but many of their functions overlap )frequently use the same mouthpiece for all the folks that they breathalise until one of them turns the color green ..this meant that the machine was accumulating each persons breath sample ( and of course spittle , microbes etc ..the same person sued for putting their health at risk )..case was thrown out "unproven hazard"..

They had actually been handed the same machine with the same mouthpiece in it as was used 30 seconds before by the person pulled over in front of them ..and they saw it and had witnesses..willing to go on record against the police .( rare event here )..

The authorities have said that they will look into providing more finance next year to alleviate this problem ..and suggested that if you really contest the proceedure you can always ask for a blood test ..

Lets hope they use a clean needle ..given the enormous scandal here of the hiv/aids contaminated blood sold to haemophiliac children with the knowledge of the government ..all politicians involved have been let off on technicalities..

I dont trust them ..

jecasc




msg:319681
 2:58 pm on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

This sounds like a case for a new EU regulation: Obligatory needles in evey first aid box.

Lilliabeth




msg:319682
 3:47 pm on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

If the police in DC have their way all that will be needed is yes or no flag. Apparently they see that .08 thing as merely a guideline.

[washingtonpost.com...]

lawman




msg:319683
 4:18 pm on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

In Georgia, if a driver tests .05 or less, there is a rebuttable inference that the driver is not a less safe driver due to alcohol consumption. In other words, a prosecutor can still prosecute a "less safe" case if he thinks he can rebut the inference.

.06 and less than .08 there is no inference one way or the other.

.08 and above is an unlawful blood alcohol level for drivers 21 or older - called a "per se" case in Georgia.

Other per se levels are .04 for drivers of commercial vehicles, and .02 for drivers under age 21.

BTW, the Intoxilyzer 5000 has a normal deviation of + or - .02. This is because the device is set up for an "average person." A .07 result could be a .07. It could also be as low as a .05, or as high as a .09. And that's before we really start getting into the science of the machine.

vincevincevince




msg:319684
 5:52 pm on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think it is a good point and something which should be enforced for all devices used in legal, medical, or scientific applications.

The good reasons for disclosing source code for legal applications are obvious from this case.

For medical applications, it means another chance for someone to check the code for problems which may well lead to fatalities. The fact that when the flow trigger is activated the critical pulse alarm won't sound may never be discovered until it is too late.

And for scientific applications, there has been considerable commentry on this issue already. It revolves around a scientist having to have a knowledge of the complete process of measurement or control, in order to detect sources error and understand implicit limitations. The digital thermometer is accurate to +/- 0.1 C... but it may not state that there is a 1 second lag in the results, and that they are a time-average over 0.5 seconds.

And then think of the extra work for programmers. Every time XYZ expensive lawyer wants to try to get their client off a case - call in the team of crack programmers to look for possible flaws. Every time a health service wants to buy a new model MRI machine - call in the team of crack programmers to look for possible problems (due diligence and covering their own back). Every time a paper is submitted for publication - call in the team of crack programmers to figure out just whether XYZ device is really capable of accurate measurement under those conditions.

edit_g




msg:319685
 5:26 am on Nov 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

"There are no warranties expressed or implied, including but not limited to, any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose."

I'm no expert at lawyer speak, but doesn't that say that the people who make and market the breathalyzer don't want to actually admit that it's a breathalyzer they're selling?

Sanenet




msg:319686
 9:11 am on Nov 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

edit_g - if they admit it's a standard breathalyzer, and it passes you, but then the cops fail you, you "might" have a case against the manufacturers.

Hence the disclaimer. :)

edit_g




msg:319687
 4:46 am on Nov 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

if they admit it's a standard breathalyzer, and it passes you, but then the cops fail you, you "might" have a case against the manufacturers

Yeah, I understand that. I just think its asinine that they don't have the guts to stand by their product.

As a solution to this, in some other countries, the roadside breath test will only let the police take you to the station to test your blood - the breath test isn't relied on in court.

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