Battle for the Breathalyzers Records Round 2: NYPD Launches Appeal

July 15, 2014 in DWI, Freedom of Information, News, Police Conduct, Suppression of Evidence

The NYPD just doesn’t want you to know what’s going on with their breathalyzer machines.

Breathalyzer Records Request Appealed by NYPD
Last year we scored an important victory in our fight for government transparency when New York Supreme Court Justice Doris Ling-Cohan ordered the NYPD to produce all records of maintenance and inspection for every Intoxilyzer machine in the city.  The NYPD quickly stopped the production of the documents to file an appeal.  Eight months later, the NYPD has finally filed its appeal.

The appeal presents the same empty arguments against disclosure.  The NYPD warns that there are thousands of DWI matters pending in the city and releasing these documents will interfere with all of these cases.  If you’re wondering how the disclosure of maintenance records would interfere with a DWI case, don’t expect to find an answer in the NYPD’s appeal – that part is left to the reader’s imagination.

Justice Ling-Cohan said that  the release of the records could result in two possible outcomes: “all equipment proves to be accurate and well-maintained, or, not all equipment proves to be accurate and well-maintained.”   The NYPD’s appeal provides another big hint we should expect the second outcome.  It writes, “[O]ld maintenance records not only are irrelevant and prejudicial to the an [sic] ongoing criminal case, but they may be used generally to impugn the trustworthiness of the equipment and its operators.”  How bad are these records that they could be used to show the machines and the persons using them are not trustworthy?

Stay tuned, the truth is coming out eventually . . .