As any experienced Tacoma DUI attorney would know, changes to the law and the procedures pertaining to its application are a relatively regular occurrence. With new developments come new challenges that must be overcome so that clients can be better served.
For some time now, the Washington State Police (WSP) has studied the possibility of retiring the BAC DataMaster as the state’s standard equipment for administering field sobriety breath tests. The DataMaster is now so antiquated that the WSP is having difficulty maintaining its existing inventory of devices.
Recently, sources at the WSP have confirmed that the agency has settled on a new platform, the Draeger 9510, a device that has been in the state for a number of years, but for which the WSP and the legislature have been working out procedures and regulations for. The new system will be procured at a cost of around $10,000 per machine and will be fielded starting September 2014.
To understand how the adoption of the Draeger will affect the DUI dynamic, it is the responsibility of every DUI attorney in Tacoma and across the state to understand the specifics of the new machine. Here at the Law Offices of Kim E. Hunter, we got in touch with Jon Fox, an attorney-at-law with a wealth of experience on the Draeger, to familiarize us with the new device.
Like the DataMaster, the Draeger 9510 will use infrared spectrometry to measure the amount of alcohol in a person’s breath by detecting light at the frequency associated with the carbon-hydrogen bond of the ethyl alcohol molecule. However, the new device will go one step further by testing for alcohol against an electrochemical process as well. These two tests will be performed on two breath samples, yielding four results to help rule out errors. In addition, the Draeger also provides testers with more information, including the length of the blow, uncertainty calculations of the data, and other profile graphs.
While new technologies, such as the Draeger 9510 breath test machine, minimize the risk of errors and subjective results, this mustn’t diminish the role that DUI defense attorneys play in the process. In fact, it is with the admission of such changes that attorneys should be ever more vigilant at ensuring that the proper procedures are followed and finding innovative new ways to assert our clients’ innocence in the eyes of the law.
To speak to Ms. Hunter about the implementation of the new breath test machine and its implications, both for the Law Offices of Kim E. Hunter and the DUI field of law in general, make no hesitation to reach her through the contact information listed on our website.