Attorney Tyler Smith recently won a recission of a client’s license suspension at a hearing before the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).
According to the officer, our client was observed making a dangerous traffic maneuver. After being stopped, the client was subjected to field sobriety tests and, as a result, was arrested for operating under the influence. He was then taken to the police station for a breath test on an Intoxilyzer 8000.
During the testing, the Intoxilyzer 8000 first registered a “CAL CHECK OUT OF TOLERANCE” exception, meaning that the simulator solution did not test within ± 0.010 of a known value. The officer then restarted the test, and after the client’s second breath sample, the Intoxilyzer registered a “PURGE FAILURE” exception, meaning that the machine was still registering alcohol in the sample chamber despite purging the client’s breath sample from the machine.
Again, the officer restarted the test, did not observe a new 15-minute observation period, and eventually obtained a breath sample showing a .11% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). Based on the .11% BAC, the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) notified the client that his license would be suspended for 150 days. Attorney Smith requested a hearing to challenge the suspension.
At the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles OUI hearing, Attorney Smith argued that the Intoxilyzer 8000 result was unreliable and that the suspension should be rescinded. BMV hearings are notoriously difficult to win for the defense, considering the lessened standard of proof the State must meet. Nevertheless, the hearing officer concluded that the State had not established the reliability of the test, sparing the client of a 150-day license suspension.