Standoff over breathalyzer source code in DUI case

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Not too long ago, we reported on a case brought to the Minnesota Supreme Court wherein a defendant in a DUI case asked (and was allowed) to view the source code of the breathalyzer machine which was used on him. Well, there’s a new chapter in this book, it appears, as Minnesota authorities have missed the deadline for handing over the code to defense attorneys, thus dramatically increasing the chances that the defendant will be getting his case dismissed. Apparently, the Minnesota state public safety commissioner would not supply the source code, and the Department of Public Safety offered no explanation for the refusal. The state previously argued that it doesn’t have the rights to hand over the data, as it is actually the copyrighted property of CMI — the company who manufactures the machines. CMI has not been forthcoming with the source code in the past, leading to blunted or thrown out cases, though Court judges say the state must do whatever it takes to procure the software, even if it means suing CMI. A court hearing scheduled for September 19th will likely decide the defendant’s fate, though we doubt this is the last we’ve heard of this case.


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