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Major Case Highlights Potential Problems With Breathalyzers

Case in Ohio shows that breathalyzer machines are not always accurate

Drivers are often under the assumption that the breath test devices used by police are almost always accurate. Therefore, when a breathalyzer test shows a driver was operating his vehicle over the legal blood alcohol content limit, he is often unlikely to challenge the validity of those results in court. However, a recent case from the Ohio Supreme Court shows that breath test results are far from infallible. Persistent problems with a device used by many police departments in that state could end up leading to charges being dropped against many DUI defendants according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Prone to error

In Ohio, defense attorneys have been challenging the state government to release records from thousands of Intoxilyzer 8000 breath testing devices. Until recently, the government had stalled in releasing the records because it said it did not have the financial and technical resources to do so.

Critics, however, maintained that authorities were nervous that the records would show a number of problems with the breathalyzer machines, which in turn could compromise thousands of cases against people charged with impaired driving. They say the Intoxilyzer 8000 is prone to human error and may give false results due to temperature variation. The Ohio Supreme Court, in ordering authorities to hand over records from the machines, noted that there were serious issues in determining the device's reliability.

Device banned

In fact, the problems with the breath test device have become so numerous that the Akron City Prosecutor's Office has told police departments in that city to stop using it, according to ABC 5 News. Although officials claimed that the move was not meant to be a condemnation of the device's accuracy, defense attorneys have nonetheless welcomed the move as a sign that the device is quickly falling out of favor.

OWI Defense in Iowa

Although the Intoxilyzer 8000 is not used in Iowa, the story does show that breathalyzer machines anywhere are prone to error. The devices used in Iowa can also give results that may be challenged in court, including if an officer fails to calibrate the device or does not following standard operating procedures before administering a breath test. Such concerns are not just mere technicalities; they exist to ensure that people are not falsely accused of breaking the law and having their rights and liberties taken away as a result.

Anybody who is currently facing an OWI charge in Iowa is likely under a great deal of stress and pressure. A conviction, after all, can have severe consequences, including restricted driving privileges, fines, and, in some cases, prison time. An experienced criminal defense attorney, however, can provide the help and guidance defendants need when faced with an OWI charge.

  • The Iowa State Bar Association
  • DUI Defense Law
  • NACDL
  • AAJ
  • Iowa Association of Justice

Keegan, Tindal & Jaeger 

Put Over 50 Years of Combined Trial Experience On Your Side 
  • J. Dean Keegan
  • Eric D. Tindal
  • Andrea D. Jaeger
  • J. Dean Keegan J. Dean Keegan

    Owner

    Decades of Award-Winning Legal Service J. Dean Keegan was born and raised in Waterloo, Iowa. After high school, Dean served ...
    J. Dean  Keegan Photo
  • Eric D. Tindal Eric D. Tindal

    Attorney

    Highly Rated Criminal Defense in Iowa City Eric D. Tindal, attorney at Keegan, Tindal & Jaeger, graduated from the University ...
    Eric D. Tindal Photo
  • Andrea D. Jaeger Andrea D. Jaeger

    Attorney

    Experienced Criminal Defense in the Iowa and Illinois Quad Cities Andrea D. Jaeger practices in the areas of white collar ...
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See What Our Clients Have to say

  • I am glad he was there to get my head out of the guillotine when I needed him and keep my record clean.

    “I was stopped for an OWI. Dean took things as far as he could with the appeals process, finding every way possible to keep me driving in the meantime (which I needed to do for my job). Dean argued the ...”

    - Ryan
  • My family and friends appreciate all you have done. Thank you.

    “Thank you, Andrea and Eric. You both did a great job and got me the best results possible in my situation. I would recommend your service to any in need of counsel and I am still amazed in the way ...”

    - Michael
  • Andrea Jaeger is the best defense attorney in the world.

    “Andrea Jaeger is the best defense attorney in the world. She gets the job done for her clients. She goes hard for the best results. She would always be my first choice of defense. She is very ...”

    - Orlando
  • Eric helped give me my life back

    “I was charged with two felonies that carried a life sentence. After sitting in jail for a year with public defenders just going through the motions, I asked the judge to appoint new counsel. Eric was ...”

    - J
  • This is the guy you want!

    “Eric is the whole package. He will fight relentlessly for you, all the while using tact and professionalism. Eric always respected my best interests and kept them his top priority. He is incredibly ...”

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SUCCESSFUL results for our clients

Protecting Your Freedom & Rights
  • First Degree Murder and Child Endangerment Causing Death Acquitted of First Degree Murder at Trial

    Henry County FECR005634. Attorney Tindal’s client was charged with First Degree Murder and Child Endangerment Causing Death. Following a two week trial, the Defendant was acquitted of all charges.

  • Vehicular Homicide Charges Reduced, No Incarceration Imposed

    Muscatine County FECR056673. Vehicular Homicide was reduced to Involuntary Manslaughter. Total sentence was suspended.

  • Felony Drug Charges Charges Dismissed

    Muscatine County FECR050038. Attorney Dean Keegan's client was charged with two counts of controlled substance violation, as well as two counts of failure to affix tax stamp. After a year of court appearances and negotiating with the prosecutor, all charges were dismissed with costs assessed to the State.

  • Carrying Weapons, Public Intoxication, & Disorderly Conduct Carrying Weapons & Public Intoxication Charges D

    Linn County AGCR108044. Attorney Dean Keegan's client was charged with Carrying Weapons, Public Intoxication, and Disorderly Conduct. After plea negotiations with the State, Mr. Keegan was successful in dismissing the Carrying Weapons and Public Intoxication charges.

  • Possession with Intent to Distribute Charges Dismissed

    Iowa County FECR010358. Attorney Tindal was able to show the Court that his client was detained in violation of his Constitutional rights and that the K9 utilized in the search was unreliable. Following hearing all charges were dismissed.

  • Embezzlement No Criminal Charges Filed

    Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa. An employee of a Cedar Rapids business accused of embezzling six million dollars was not charged criminally after the County Attorney agreed to abide by an agreement negotiated by Attorneys J. Dean Keegan and Jerald Kinnamon in which the accused would pay two million dollars to the company.

  • Second Degree Sexual Abuse and Other Charges Acquittal at Trial

    Johnson County FECR089277. The Defendant was charged with Second Degree Sexual Abuse and other charges. Following a one-week trial by Mr. Tindal, the Defendant was acquitted of all charges.

  • Trafficking Stolen Weapons and Misdemeanor Theft Charge Dismissed

    Scott County FECR384046. The Defendant was charged with Trafficking Stolen Weapons and Misdemeanor Theft. The Court dismissed the felony following a Motion litigated by Mr. Tindal. The Defendant subsequently pled to the remaining misdemeanor.

  • Possession with Intent to Deliver Marijuana and Methamphetamine Charges Dismissed

    Washington Count FECR5351. Attorney Tindal and Attorney Clemens Erdahl successfully argued that evidence of drug manufacture was obtained in violation of the Constitution. All charges were dismissed.

  • Operating While Intoxicated 3rd Offense Charge Dismissed

    Linn County OWCR104143. Attorney Dean Keegan's client was charged with a felony 3rd offense OWI. Mr. Keegan argued the officer did not have reasonable grounds to pull over his client. The charges were dropped from a felony to a ticket fine of $15.00 for being in a park past closing time.

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Keegan, Tindal & Jaeger

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  • Our Attorneys Are well Respected Throughout Eastern Iowa

  • We Offer Free Consultations No Matter How Severe The Charge

  • Trial Attorneys With Successful Track Records In The Courtroom

  • Over 50 Years of Combined Experience In Criminal Defense with an Emphasis on OWI's

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