Kansas City, MO- A wording error in Missouri’s DWI laws means hundreds, perhaps even thousands of DWI cases in the state now that Missouri Supreme Court issued their ruling in a case that challenged the way breathalyzers are calibrated in the state.
In Kristin Nicole Stiers vs. Director of Revenue, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that Stiers’ driver’s license should be reinstated after finding breathalyzers were improperly calibrated.
Stiers was arrested for DWI in July 2013, and her license was suspended based on the results of a breathalyzer test. But the breathalyzer has only been calibrated using one metric not three as the wording in the law dictates, so Missouri residents, who were charged with a DWI between December 2012 and February 2014 based on the results from a breathalyzer, could have their cases revisited, according to KSDK.
The problem with the law boils down to a wording error that has now been corrected, but there was a fourteen-month gap from when the discrepancy was discovered and when it was changed.
Attorney Matt Fry told KSDK that issue at the center of this case was the phrase “calibrated with a .04, a .08, and a .10.” Using the “and” indicates that the law intended for officers to calibrate breathalyzer machines with three metrics instead of one. During Stiers arrest, law enforcement used a breathalyzer that was tested using only one “solution” and therefore the machines were not calibrated properly.
The language of the law has been changed so that it won’t be an issue in future cases, but hundreds of DWI suspects in the state could have their cases reviewed, and some offenders may even have their convictions overturned. An officer who testified in the case said law enforcement agencies hadn’t been notified of the change in language.
This case demonstrates how important it is for local law enforcement to ensure their breathalyzers are calibrated properly and officers understand how to administer these tests. If they are not calibrated regularly by someone with the appropriate training, the results can be inaccurate, and there is a danger of a motorist being wrongfully accused of DWI.
USAttorneys wants to emphasize how serious a DWI is, and we advise you to speak with a DWI lawyer in Kansas City to discuss the defense strategies that can be employed in your case. With legal counsel, you may be able to avoid a conviction and the troublesome consequences.
You can rely on our team of DWI lawyers in Missouri to thoroughly investigate your accident and decide the best route for you to take in your defense. They will strive to mitigate the potential consequences and keep our DWI from affecting your life too much. USAttorneys can help you get in touch with a DWI lawyer near your Missouri location to help you with your case and increase your chances of avoiding a conviction and record.