Thursday, September 29, 2011

Violation of Florida Administrative Code may compromise DUI cases in Hernando County

            The administration and operation of breath testing instruments throughout the State of Florida is governed by the Florida Administrative Code. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is entrusted with the responsibility of: (1) the regulation of the operation, inspection and registration of breath test instruments; (2) the regulation of the individuals who operate and inspect evidentiary breath test instruments; and (3) the regulation of blood analysts who conduct blood alcohol testing. The mission statement of FDLE states they strive “to enhance public safety by ensuring the accuracy and scientific reliability of evidentiary blood and breath alcohol tests, facilitating enforcement of Implied Consent Laws and Administrative Rules, and promoting the qualifications and professionalism of persons responsible for blood and breath alcohol analyses in the State of Florida”. A certified breath test operator in Hernando County resigned after she could no longer vouch for the accuracy of the instruments she oversaw. Fran Greifenberger resigned on May 19th because deputies entered her office without permission and tampered with instruments and viewed evidence without her knowledge. It is a violation of Florida Administrative Code for unlicensed individuals to come into contact breath testing instruments. This security breach may now affect pending and recently resolved DUI’s in Hernando County. See this article from the St. Petersburg Times for the details and the response from the State Attorney’s Office.