Published on:

Defendant Claims Wide Variation of Results with an Intoxilyzer


The People of the State of New York are the respondents in the case. The Appellant in the matter is William E. Lent, Jr. The case is being heard in the Supreme Court of the State of New York in the 9th and 10th Judicial Districts of the Appellate Term. Judges Nicolai, P.J., Tanenbaum, and Iannacci, JJ is present.

This is a case of appeal. The judgments that are being appealed were made in the District Court of Nassau County, First Department. The defendant has been convicted of driving while intoxicated per se and speeding. These judgments were made during a jury trial.

Case Background

A New York Criminal Lawyer said the defendant was convicted of driving while intoxicated and speeding after a jury trial. During the trial a Police Officer from Nassau County testified that he had been trained to estimate the speed of a moving vehicle. He stated that on the 11th of March, 2007 at almost five in the morning he saw the defendant traveling down the Long Island Expressway at approximately 90 miles per hour. This estimate was confirmed by using a laser device and by his own odometer as he pursued the vehicle.

The officer pulled the vehicle over and when he walked to the vehicle he noticed that the driver was showing several signs of intoxication. When asked, the defendant admitted to having one drink. The officer conducted a series of field sobriety tests and the defendant failed them all. At 5:23 a.m. the defendant was arrested and taken to the Central Testing Unit of the Nassau County Police Department. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the defendant failed a series of sobriety tests and consented to a chemical test for the alcohol content of his blood. The chemical test was conducted at 7:24 a.m. and showed a reading of 0.11 per centum by weight. The Intoxilyzer 5000 EN breath test instrument was used.

At the trial the defendant requested expert testimony to define the range of individual variations that are found within the population using the Intoxilyzer 5000. The defendant did not seek to challenge the reliability of the instrument, but rather show the jury that his ratio may be radically different from the mean that was used to establish the test results.

Case Discussion

The New York State Department of Health has approved the scientific accuracy of several devices, including the Intoxilyzer 5000. For this reason, a New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said it has been established that expert testimony is no longer needed in cases such as this because the scientific community is in agreement over the accuracy of these devices.

The defendant was not seeking to challenge the reliability of the instrument, but rather show the range of individual variation. This variation has been found scientifically insignificant in such matters. The court precluded the expert testimony from being used in this case.

Court Decision

The court has reviewed the details of the case and found that precluding the expert testimony from the trial was within the law. A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said these devices have been approved for use by the New York State Department of Health and for this reason expert testimony is unnecessary.

The court affirms the convictions made by the jury trial and the appeal is denied.

Stephen Bilkis & Associates offers free legal consultations to anyone in need of legal advice. You may contact any of our offices in New York City to set up an appointment. One of our lawyers will be happy to discuss your legal problem with you and help you determine the best course of action.

Contact Information