The Massachusetts Supreme Court, addressing the admissibility of results from the Alcotest machine, was deciding whether to rely on State v. Chun and accept the machine based on the Chun litigation. The DUI Defense Lawyers Association submitted an amicus brief to the court, informing them of the ongoing flawed process in New Jersey, where people are being convicted and put in jail based on results from the Alcotest breath testing machine.
Based on the defense and Amicus arguments, the Massachusetts Supreme Court is not relying on Chun, and will hold its own scientific reliability hearing.
This is a great win, as the concern was that other state’s courts would accept the result in Chun without considering that the NJ court required nine software changes to that machine in order to make it scientifically reliable, yet the state of New Jersey implemented none of those changes. Further, the NJ Supreme Court ignored it’s prior ruling that the machine was only generally scientifically reliable, but when the State told the Court that it never really intended to follow the Court’s Order to fix the machine, the court rubber-stamped the State’s willful violation of the Chun Order.
Fortunately, the Massachusetts Supreme Court will make an independent analysis of the Alcotest. The machine has employed an algorithm that self-calibrates the machine. Hopefully, after a full hearing on the processes and source code of the Alcotest, the MA Court will determine that the self-correcting machine is not scientifically reliable.