Of Course a Cop Can Fail a Breathalyzer Test and Potentially Get Off Scot-Free

Illustration for article titled Of Course a Cop Can Fail a Breathalyzer Test and Potentially Get Off Scot-Free

Billings, MT police office Samantha Puckett was caught speeding above the legal alcohol limit. She even admitted to being under the influence of alcohol. But after fighting the results of her breathalyzer test, she got them to call it a mistrial. How the hell?

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Talk to the hung jury, as it's all in the details. She was already going 45 in a 30 when another officer stopped her. She was also caught driving at .10% blood-alcohol content—that's .02 above the legal limit. Sounds simple enough, even if you want to call it niggly on the alcohol thing—which is to say that's a big difference.

But Paul Miranda, an Idaho-based chemist who was brought in as an expert witness, argued that the breathalyzer test could be compromised by a number of factors, including elevation and body temperature. He even cited his sister-in-law's bachelorette party as evidence of real people getting real drunk. Heh. Been there. Taking all that into consideration, the judge deemed it a mistrial. It's still too early for to know if city will try the case again.

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Lesson learned. The next time you're in trouble, give them the old razzle dazzle in the form of expert testimony. They'll never get wise. [Billings Gazette]

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DISCUSSION

brokenmachine
Broken Machine

Of course - if you think that cops are held to the same standards, you are sorely misled.

Take for example, a car accident involving a drunken off duty officer, David Bisard, plowing into a group of motorcyclists killing one and injuring a few others just about a year ago in Illinois. APPARENTLY, the person who took the blood sample for his BAC screen wasn't qualified to do so, and the results (which read above the legal limit) were found non-admissible.

I was a witness to a situation involving a belligerent man who was restrained to a gurney in a hopsital, yet was punched twelve times in the face by an officer who didn't like what this man had to say. 12 times. Despite a court trial, he still retains his job.

My father, when 16, was hit by a drunk off-duty officer at an intersection in NE philly, after the officer ran a red light. Guess who was found at fault?

I was beaten by a cop who thought I was lying to him. I was cuffed, face down, and told to get up. I was beaten with a nightstick when I could not. I was then placed, face down on a hot cruiser hood, then, as I was led to the back of the patrol car, my head was pushed into the frame of the car, intentionally.

Police are scum of the earth - I have earned that opinion through my own experiences.