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MA SJC Determines Draeger 7110 Breathalyzer Reliable Based on Source Code and Interfering Substances

Posted by Joseph Bernard | Dec 11, 2017 | 0 Comments

On December 8, 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued its decision in Commonwealth v. Camblin II, holding that the breath test results from the Draeger 7110 Breathalyzer are reliable based on the device's source code and ability to identify interfering substances. The original case, Commonwealth v. Camblin I, allowed defendants to challenge the reliability of a breathalyzer device despite the fact that G.L. c. 90, § 24 states that evidence of a breath test "shall be admissible" in a criminal proceeding. Prior to Camblin I, breath test results were "automatically" admissible by law. However, the Court found that even though the legislature had created this law does not mean that the reliability of every type of evidence produced by a scientific theory or process, particularly in a criminal case, is automatically insulated from challenge and review on reliability grounds. As a result, the case was remanded for findings regarding whether the Draeger 7110 Breathalyzer is a reliable device to determine a motorist's blood alcohol content. 

In Camblin II, the Court held that the breath test results from the Draeger 7110 Breathalyzer are reliable. However, defendants in this case only challenged the reliability of the device based on its ability to identify interfering substances in a motorist's breath sample. It did not address the major issues of the methodology and protocols utilized by the Office of Alcohol Testing ("OAT"), the crime laboratory in Massachusetts that annually calibrates breathalyzers used by the police. Recently it was held in Commonwealth v. Ananias that OAT's practices were so deficient that it impacted the reliability of Draeger 9510 Breathalyzer test results to the point that results from June 2011 through September 2014 were deemed inadmissible. At this point, this remains a route to challenge the Draeger 7110 Breathalyzer test results. 

To learn more about information about whether there is a challenge to your OUI conviction with a Draeger 7110 Breathalyzer breath test result, contact Attorney Joseph D. Bernard at 413-731-9995.

About the Author

Joseph Bernard

Joseph Bernard has been practicing statewide in Massachusetts for over 20 years. He predominately handles OUI defense along with other motor vehicle charges.

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