Defeating the Alcotest 9510: Lack of a Protocol and Procedure

Up until now it was very hard to attack this breath testing machine.  The prosecutors would have the police officer on the stand and he would hold up a test result stating that it came from OAT and the Forensic Science Lab in Maynard. He would then say the results state you blew a 0.13 BrAC.  The jury would hear “that is high and over the limit by 5 points and most likely convict.

Today let’s talk about how this machine was purchased and initially brought on line in Massachusetts.  They had the Alcotest 7110 during the 2000’s but Draeger Inc., came along and said they can make the 9510 work better and talk easier with central data center in Maynard, MA where Office of Alcohol Testing (OAT) is located.  So the government decided to get grant money from the Federal government and State government and decided to purchase these machines in 2009-2010 period of time.

It took them some time get the correct firmware and instruments to line up.  But they began to roll them out in the summer of 2011 and finished in 2012.  Here is where it gets interesting.  They did this all without protocols or procedures!!

That is right no protocol was in place. 

To scientist and engineers this has to raise questions!!!  Well it gets better.

The Initial Set-Up Procedure for the Draeger Alcotest 9510 Version One, Dated 11-12-2012.  Remember this is at a minimum 17 months after the first machines went on line and were testing the defendants of Massachusetts.  Line 3.8 states– Delete event logger for firmware and configuration files.  Why would a new machine need to have event loggers deleted?

It does not need this if it is a new machine, OAT was trying to have its cake and eat it too.  After much testimony OAT stated that this is KNOWN for machines that come back from the field or after being repaired that this is to get them ready for re-use in MA.

As you will follow this blog over the next couple of weeks you will find that once a mistake is found that they then need to explain away the problem.  Here they stated that the title should be changed away from Initial Set up.

Those that work with machines and equipment know that the first time one brings a machine on line care has to be given to it to make sure all systems are working and function correctly.  Everyday events such as do not drive a new car off the lot and gun the engine and go 100mph the first two miles nor do you start a machine up without reading the instructions and checking all the fluid to makes sure they are at the correct levels—you let the machines have a break in period.

As you will find out later in the saga that OAT did not have much quality control going on in this lab.  All results are subject to both machine and human error.  Stay tune to this blog area for more information to fight your breath test results.  If interested set up a free consultation and we can discuss your case and what we can do for you at Oberhauser Law or call 978-452-1116 to set up that consultation.


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Current Updates On The Massachusetts Breathalyzer Problems



Attorney Gregory Oberhauser

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Gregory Oberhauser is the ONLY attorney in Massachusetts to be distinguished as an ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist by the American Chemical Society!

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