Topeka The Kansas Supreme Court is being asked by the Douglas County District Attorney’s office to consider a driving under the influence case, saying that the matter could have statewide consequences.
The issue is whether an Intoxilyzer reading of .08 within two hours of driving is sufficient evidence to get a DUI conviction.
The case stems from the Aug. 19, 2007 arrest of Paul Finch. A sheriff’s deputy stopped Finch for weaving in and out of his lane, according to court records.
He was taken to the county jail where he submitted to a breath test. The Intoxilyzer 5000 measured his breath to have .080 grams of alcohol content.
Finch’s atorney argued the .08 reading was insufficient to find him guilty of DUI beyond a reasonable doubt. State District Court Judge Robert Fairchild agreed, granting a motion to acquit. Finch pleaded guilty to a remaining charge of failure to maintain a lane.
In his argument to the Kansas Supreme Court, Assistant District Attorney Mark Simpson says the DUI law is clear -- a person who is driving and has an alcohol concentration of .08 is violating the law.
But Janine Cox, with the Kansas Appellate Defender Office, argues that in test trials in the week before Finch’s arrest, the Intoxilyzer machine showed inconsistencies between the first and second tests. While the inconsistencies were small, they were enough to support an acquittal, she said.
She also argued that resolving this case was not crucial to the uniform administration of the law statewide, but only applied to Finch’s case.
Arguments in the case will be heard Wednesday by the state Supreme Court.