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editor

Breathalyzer problems mean hundreds of DUI cases have to be reexamined

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ARREST MADE IN DPS BREATH TEST CONTRACTOR CASE

District Attorney Kenneth Magidson states that Deetrice Wallace has been arrested and

charged in conjunction with reports of false inspections of DPS-owned intoxilyzer instruments. These instruments are used in cases in which a driver is suspected of driving while intoxicated through the introduction of alcohol into the body. Intoxilyzers are designed to quantify the exact alcohol concentration that remains in a person's breath after drinking alcoholic beverages.

The Texas Department of Public Safety reports that Wallace was hired as an independent

contractor, and she was responsible for maintaining and certifying instruments for eight local police departments, including Clute, Friendswood, Galveston, League City, Pearland, Seabrook, South Houston, and Webster.

Hundreds of cases are being re-examined to determine if tainted or unreliable evidence led to the arrest or conviction of suspects.

Wallace has been charged with the offense of Tampering with a Governmental Record, a state

jail felony, which exposes her to a range of punishment of 6 months to 2 years in the state jail and up to a $10,000 fine. She will appear in the 182nd District Court. The District Attorney states that additional charges may be forthcoming.

Kenneth Magidson states, "Our first and foremost goal is to ensure that justice is done. We will take any appropriate action necessary in the interests of justice. Cases will be carefully reviewed to determine their proper disposition."

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This made me angry. First because a bunch of a-holes will walk, but second because of all of the money and time of police and prosecutors it ends up wasting. People who do things like this should somehow be forced to pay the monetary consequences as well.

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I was kinda hoping RedScare might have some inside info for us on this.

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Follow-up:

------8<--------

Indictment Obtained for Technical Supervisor Charged with Tampering

(Houston, TX) Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos announced today that the 338th Grand Jury has issued an indictment against Deetrice H. Wallace for the felony criminal offense of Tampering with a Governmental Record.

The Texas Department of Public Safety reports that Wallace was hired in 1996 as an independent contractor responsible for maintaining and certifying instruments for several local police departments, including those in Clute, Friendswood, Galveston, League City, Pearland, Seabrook, South Houston, and Webster. Wallace was certified by the Texas Department of Public Safety as a Technical Supervisor and was responsible for maintaining and testing intoxilyzer instruments. The Tampering with a Governmental Record charge arises from reports of false inspections of DPS owned intoxilyzer instruments which are used in cases where a driver is suspected of driving while intoxicated through the introduction of alcohol into the body. The instrument measures the alcohol concentration in a person's breath.

Tampering with a Governmental Record is a state jail felony punishable up to two years in a state jail and up to a $10,000 fine.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office is in the process of examining thousands of cases to determine if Wallace had any involvement in them. District Attorney Pat Lykos states, "Our duty and responsibility to the public is to ensure that justice is done. Thousands of cases are being re-examined to determine if tainted or unreliable evidence led to the arrest or conviction of suspects. Cases will be thoroughly reviewed to determine their proper disposition. We are working very diligently to ensure that only lawful evidence is introduced in court."

Identifying these cases may take weeks, but Lykos vows that her staff will collect the evidence as quickly as possible and take the appropriate action.

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I was kinda hoping RedScare might have some inside info for us on this.

Sorry, I never saw this post back in October. But, no, I have no information, inside or otherwise. I do not often handle cases in that neck of the woods. I'm having a hard time remembering if I have ever handled any DWIs in most of those towns, other than a couple several years ago in Galveston, when I had a local number there.

I can say that not every DWI case involving those machines will have to be thrown out. As is often discussed here, many DWI arrestees refuse the breath test. Since the tests administered under this supervisors watch are now tainted, prosecutors would be forced to re-examine the cases to see if the person could be convicted without using the test. For example, is there a witness who can testify that the driver was "all over the road", an officer to testify that the person smelled of alcohol, had poor balance, etc., or a video showing the person doing poorly while performing the sobriety tests.

If this evidence is present, the DA could still prosecute in spite of the unavailability of the breath test.

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On 10/28/2008 at 6:53 AM, editor said:

ARREST MADE IN DPS BREATH TEST CONTRACTOR CASE

District Attorney Kenneth Magidson states that Deetrice Wallace has been arrested and

charged in conjunction with reports of false inspections of DPS-owned intoxilyzer instruments. These instruments are used in cases in which a driver is suspected of DUI Class offender driving while intoxicated through the introduction of alcohol into the body. Intoxilyzers are designed to quantify the exact alcohol concentration that remains in a person's breath after drinking alcoholic beverages.

The Texas Department of Public Safety reports that Wallace was hired as an independent

contractor, and she was responsible for maintaining and certifying instruments for eight local police departments, including Clute, Friendswood, Galveston, League City, Pearland, Seabrook, South Houston, and Webster.

Hundreds of cases are being re-examined to determine if tainted or unreliable evidence led to the arrest or conviction of suspects.

Wallace has been charged with the offense of Tampering with a Governmental Record, a state

jail felony, which exposes her to a range of punishment of 6 months to 2 years in the state jail and up to a $10,000 fine. She will appear in the 182nd District Court. The District Attorney states that additional charges may be forthcoming.

Kenneth Magidson states, "Our first and foremost goal is to ensure that justice is done. We will take any appropriate action necessary in the interests of justice. Cases will be carefully reviewed to determine their proper disposition."

Hi

Everyday drivers are arrested for driving under the influence, or driving while intoxicated, as law enforcement agencies continue to crackdown on these dangerous offenders. For many of these drivers, it will not be their first DUI offence. May be the improper working of breathalyzer is a main cause for it. Gov as well as police officers make sure that breathalyzer are working properly or not.

 

 

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