Feeds

Judge: Breath test firm must hand over source code

Electronic kit told to walk the line

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

An Arizona Judge has approved requests to allow the examination of the software in a new generation of machines that examine blood alcohol levels of motorists.

Pima County Superior Court Judge Deborah Bernini ordered CMI, the manufacturer, to hand over the source code of the Intoxilyzer 8000 to representatives of defence lawyers in a joint lawsuit involving 20 drink drive suspects.

Lawyers for the group argue that access to the software behind the device is necessary in order to establish whether breath tests made using the devices are reliable or not. Only some police forces in the state use breath tests while others use blood tests. Attorneys for the defendants successfully argued that suspects have the right to cross-examine their accusers, in this case electronic devices.

CMI maintains that its source code is a trade secret. Meanwhile prosecutors in the Arizona drink driving cases reckon that there are other ways to determine if the device is reliable, arguing the request is a defence ploy designed to get their clients off the hook. Judge Bernini rejected these arguments and ordered CMI to hand over its secret source code to James Nesci, the lead lawyer for the defendants.

The Arizona ruling increases pressure on CMI but it's by no means sure that the firm will comply. Rejection of the request would place defence lawyers in a strong position to get breath-test results against 170 defendants, both in the cases under consideration by Judge Bernini and other cases going through the system, thrown out of court.

The Intoxilyzer 8000 entered service last year and is well liked by squad car cops because of its light weight and general convenience. The kit can be powered from a car's cigarette lighter output. The previous generation of devices - the Intoxilyzer 5000 - was far bulkier, taking up half the back seat and needing a separate energy supply.

Allegedly inconsistent, odd or inexplicable results involving the Intoxilyzer 8000 have led to legal action in six states (Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Tennessee and New Jersey as well as Arizona). A Florida judge also ordered CMI to hand over the source code running the controversial devices but the firm has refused to comply, earning it $1.2m in fines as a result. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.