Justices hear breath testing machine case

Appeal of Seminole County case could affect similar cases across Florida

Published On: Feb 06 2013 08:13:28 AM EST   Updated On: Feb 06 2013 08:55:04 AM EST

The Florida Supreme Court is in a quandary over a request from three drunken driving defendants for access to software for breath testing machines.

The justices said during oral argument Tuesday that it's only fair for defendants to get the data needed to challenge the accuracy of devices that could send them to jail. Yet, they said, the law seems stacked against them.

The appeal that originated from Seminole County could affect similar cases across Florida.
    
The Daytona Beach-based 5th District Court of Appeal quashed a trial judge's order requiring a Kentucky-based manufacturer, CMI Inc., to turn over software for its Intoxilyzer 8000.
    
The 5th District's decision, though, conflicts with two other appellate rulings. Prosecutors responded in those cases by dropping the charges.