Minnesota Attorney General Encouraged Concealment of Breath Tests' Critical Flaws Roseville, MN. June 5th, 2008 ---- Criminal Defense Attorney Chuck Ramsay announced today that he will intercede in The Minnesota Department of Public Safety's federal lawsuit against intoxilyzer manufacturer CMI of Kentucky, Inc.
In March 2008, The Minnesota Attorney General's office filed a federal suit against CMI on behalf of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. The suit alleges that CMI breached the contract for the sale and maintenance of a fleet of evidentiary breath test instruments to be used by the State, for the purpose of investigating and prosecuting the crime of DWI. In that contract, CMI agreed to sell and maintain the fleet of instruments and to release information pertaining to each respective instrument when ordered to do so by the courts. CMI also expressly agreed that any intellectual property material originating and arising out of the contract would become the sole property of the State. CMI breached both of those obligations.
Ramsay claims the state filed suit only in response to judges' complaints of aggressive litigation by criminal defense attorneys demanding access to the software from the courts.
Ramsay states that as early as 2006, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension knew its 200 plus intoxilyzers were malfunctioning. Minnesota's Intoxilyzer 5000 displays a driver's alcohol results on its LED readout; yet sporadically records a higher result on the final test record. The state discovered this and other fatal defects after hastily installing the current Intoxilyzer software in 2005. This prompted the BCA to complain to CMI about the discovered oddities. A BCA employee sent the complaint via email to five CMI representatives and four BCA employees.
This email uncovered by Ramsay exposed what Ramsay calls a smoking gun, evidencing the need for independent review of the Intoxilyzer's software. The State continues to use the bug-riddled software to operate its more than 200 Intoxilyzers, administered to nearly 34,000 drivers annually.
According to the BCA employee, the Attorney General's office, fearing an escalation in the so-called source challenge, advised the BCA to wait until the challenge had lost momentum.
Ramsay intends to file a motion to intervene in the federal lawsuit the AG filed against CMI, a Kentucky corporation. "Its clear the AG will not protect the rights of Minnesotan's in that law suit. I'm intervening to ensure justice prevails. Otherwise, the AG will use this case only for appearance."
"These black boxes not only deprive citizens' of their right to drive, but also put innocent people in jail. The Minnesota Attorney General, our state's chief prosecutor, chose to protect the interests of a secretive, foreign company rather than fight for the constitutional rights of Minnesota citizens. Most alarming, is that the AG encouraged the cover-up of a fatally flawed breath machine that the public, police and courts believed, and still believe, to be 100% accurate."
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