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Our Opinion: Breath-test devices useless

Those accused of driving while intoxicated should be prosecuted. But that prosecution must not come at the expense of the constitutional rights of the accused.

That was the clear message in three recent rulings by three local judges.

Superior Court Judge Deborah Bernini and City Court Judge Mitchell Eisenberg ordered the manufacturer of an alcohol breath test device to give attorneys software code needed to check the accuracy of the machines.

Tucson City Judge Margarita Bernal dismissed breath test evidence in 19 other cases, saying testimony proved to her that the same machines were unreliable.

Breath-testing machines are a key tool police use to identify drivers who are under the influence of alcohol. But the manufacturers of those machines must understand they owe defendants the right to challenge that evidence in court.

Until those manufacturers cooperate, their machines are of no use.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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