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Case Results

Faulty Breath Test Machine

.141 breath test - trial results in not guilty

Summary:             M.M., president of an airline, was stopped by an Anchorage Police Officer   for speeding. The officer noticed signs of intoxication, conducted field   "sobriety" tests which M.M. allegedly failed, and M. M. was arrested for driving   while intoxicated. M.M. was taken to a substation where a breath test was   obtained with a result of .141.

M.M. was referred to Attorney Fred Slone by a   civil attorney that he knew. Attorney Slone obtained copies of the discovery   materials from the prosecution, including an audio recording of the processing   at the police station, which included the administration of the breath test.

anchorage vs. M. M., district court, anchorage, alaska

breath test fails

The audio recording indicated that the officer tried first of all to administer   the breath test on one machine at the station, but could not get a result,   despite several attempts. The officer then moved M.M. to another breath testing   machine where, after a few more attempts, he finally obtained the .141 test   result.

officer provides evidence of faulty breath test machine

After listening to the audio recording several times, attorney Fred Slone noted   that the officer, almost imperceptibly, under his breath stated "you rotten   piece of f . . .ing shit". He was apparently referring to the Intoximeter 3000   breath testing machine in his frustration at not getting a result. This was the   same type of device that was used when the .141 result was obtained. Prior to   the start of trial, apparently neither the prosecutor or the officer were aware   that the officer's "opinion" of this breath testing device had been picked up by   the recording. The officer's "opinion" of the machine as a "rotten piece of f .   . .ing shit" thus became the theme of the defense.

slone cross examines officer for statements

At trial, the police officer   testified as to his observations of M.M.'s condition, which led him to believe   that M.M. was intoxicated. On cross-examination by Attorney Fred Slone, the officer   admitted that he saw no signs of erratic driving other than speeding 13 mph over   the speed limit. On cross-examination regarding the breath testing machine, Attorney Fred Slone played for the jury the section of the audio recording capturing the   officer's statement that the machine was a "rotten piece of shit," and   reference to this "opinion" was made several times throughout the trial.

expert witness claims breath test machine reliable

The State called an expert witness to testify about the reliability of   the breath testing devices, apparently to no avail.

slone brings in evidence to disprove drunken state

M.M. testified that   he had drank no more than four beers, spread out over five hours before his   stop. He had drank a couple of beers much earlier in the evening and a couple of   beers while he was having dinner with his daughter shortly before his arrest.   Attorney Fred  Slone introduced credit card receipts of M.M. indicating the amount of   alcohol and food that was purchased while M.M. was having dinner with his   daughter, to corroborate that he had only drank 2 beers at that time. M.M.'s   daughter also testified that there was nothing that would have led her to   believe that M.M. was intoxicated and that she had been with M.M. for the last   couple of hours just before his arrest.

jury returns not guilty verdict

After several days of trial, the   jury returned a "NOT GUILTY" verdict on all charges, including a "NOT GUILTY" on   the DWI case, a "NOT GUILTY" verdict on the lesser included offense of reckless   driving, and a "NOT GUILTY" verdict on the lesser included offense of careless   driving. M.M. was completely exonerated, despite a .141 breath test result.

Contact Us Today

Time is of the essence in drunk driving cases. By waiting, you may lose your driver's license, and risk losing opportunities to defend your case. To speak with an attorney today, please call Attorney Fred Slone at 907-677-9393.