Breathalyzer Software Code At Center Of Supreme Court Case

Feb 5, 2013

The Florida Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday on whether a group of Floridians could subpoena a Kentucky company for the inner workings of their breathalyzer. The outcome of the case could affect more than just breathalyzers.

Three defendants in a drunk driving case say the Intoxilyzer 8000, made by Kentucky based CMI Inc., registered them as drunk, when they say they weren’t.  That’s why they want details on how the machines work, but CMI says it doesn’t have to give that information out because it was not being directly sued and was outside Florida’s jurisdiction. Florida Supreme Court Justice, Barbara Pariente, said if the tests are inaccurate that’s a concern.

"I understand we have a legal principle here, but at some point here we're also here to try to do justice, and if this source code is in fact, show that the breathalyzer is not reliable then we really want to get in search of the truth here," Justice Pariente said.

The Court has not set a date for when it will release its decision on the case, experts say however the outcome could affect Florida’s subpoena power.