Of Course a Cop Can Fail a Breathalyzer Test and Get Off Scot-Free [Law]on July 31st, 2011
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 won her trial. How the hell?
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.
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.
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]