Criminal Defense: San Francisco DUIs thrown out for improper police procedure and malfunction

Posted on Posted in DUI

San Francisco PAS test devices manlfunctioned

If you were arrested for a DUI in San Francisco, then your case has a chance to be dismissed, or your guilty plea thrown out. It has been discovered that the San Francisco police were using faulty devices and were not conducting proper accuracy checks of their Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) devices (the Alco-Sensor IV) which are the machines used in the field as part of the Field Sobriety Testing.  A driver is to blow twice into the PAS machines to determine if there is alcohol in the blood.  However, the police have very specific rules for checking for accuracy.  According to the company that manufactures the Alco-Sensor IV, the machines should be checked every 10 days, or after 150 tests.  According to records, this did not happen.  The PAS machine logs kept by the San Francisco officers show that there were no inaccurate reads during any tests.  According to manufacturers of the Alco-Sensor IV, this should not happen.  There would be occasional false reads or inaccurate reads which would require recalibration.

What will happen now after the PAS test malfunction?

The San Francisco District Attorney’s office is working in conjunction with the Public Defender’s office to review cases and convictions which were based solely on PAS test results.  The only inaccurate information came from the PAS tests, specifically the Alco-Sensor IV machines.  This means that if you took the breath test at the station post-arrest, or had blood drawn, your case may not be effected.  However, these new findings may open your case to defenses which were not previously available.

What to do if you were a victim of a PAS test malfunction?

You should consult an attorney if you were arrested or convicted in San Francisco for a DUI based solely on a PAS test made by the Alco-Sensor IV.  You may have a chance to have the conviction thrown out, or the case dismissed.  The PD and DA are working on finding the cases which would be effected by this case, but some may fall through the cracks.  It does not hurt to check with a defense attorney about your case.  And, if you live in another area but were arrested for a DUI, this is a reason for hiring an attorney- any experienced attorney knows to request the PAS maintenance logs and look for discrepancies or issues.

The article which broke the story:

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about PAS test devices in San Francisco, or in any county.

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

A Criminal Defense Firm

PO Box 3297

Palm Springs, CA 92262

Office: (760) 237-8295

Cell: (760) 668-8295

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