Scientific Accuracy Takes A Backseat To Politics
Science is interested in accuracy. Generally one may say that politics and law are interested in fairness. However, where DUI Law is concerned, scientific accuracy has been bulldozed into the ground by well intentioned anti-alcohol zealots who have politicians ears. A ready example is a jury instruction that orders jurors to “assume that the intoxilyzer readying is accurate.” Even if you are not a lawyer, you know enough law from watching television that the province of the jury is protected from politics, or should be. Jurors in our system of justice occupy a hallowed role – protecting individuals from a much more powerful government, by holding it’s agents to a high standard of proof, that of reasonable doubt. Th government has historically been held to this standard by forcing them to prove each element and each fact to this unforgiving level of proof. We don’t instruct a jury to assume anything about the facts of a case specifically because it lessens the burden of proof for the state and gives them an unfair advantage. It doesn’t matter if the crime is child abuse, or DUI, the idea that the government is given an advantage of “accuracy” because it certifies that they have checked the machine monthly is complete bull. Each DUI case under say .085 BAC is about that very accuracy, and the very manufacturer of the machine states that the machine is only accurate to + or – .005 or 5%, whichever is greater. The idea that the legislature can, or for that matter would even attempt, to rewrite scientific accuracy by changing the rules is as un-American as it gets.