Faulty Breathalyzers Call South Bay DUI Cases Into Question

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Alco-Sensor V breathalyzer

Alco-Sensor V breathalyzer (Intoximeters, Inc.)

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KCBS's Matt Bigler started as a reporter/anchor in 2004, and is now...
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SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Hundreds of DUI cases in San Jose and Palo Alto are being called into question after the breathalyzers used in those cases turned out to be faulty. Santa Clara County prosecutors say they are reviewing the cases of nearly 870 DUI suspects.

The district attorney just discovered the problem last week. Apparently, the Alco-Sensor V was recalled by its manufacturers for occasionally malfunctioning.

”We found out that over the course of an evening condensation can build up in the machine and cause it to have inaccurate results,” said James Gibbons Shapiro with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

The office will notify suspects and their lawyers about the potentially inaccurate readings.

The Alco-Sensor V was put into use in Palo Alto April of 2010, and San Jose started using the device last November. San Jose Police sent all 60 of the breathalyzers they were using back to the manufacturer on Friday.

The department has been using a shipment of older, non-defective models since Saturday.

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