May 02, 2016
By Jane Brown
A ruling by a Brampton judge on a roadside breath test is calling the breath testing system in Ontario into question.
The judge has acquitted a driver who failed a roadside breath test after accepting a former government scientist’s evidence that the device is faulty and the process used in Ontario is flawed.
The defence lawyer who represented the man says the verdict also questions the reliability of guilty verdicts in many other drinking and driving cases throughout the province.
While on the stand, scientist Ben Joseph said his research cast doubt on the reliability of the Intoxilyzer 8000C, the device police officers across the province use to test the blood alcohol level of drivers.
Police forces in Ontario began using this U.S. manufactured device about six or seven years ago. Joseph compared the case to Motherisk, the Hospital for Sick Children’s now discredited hair testing program.
In Ontario, the maximum legal blood alcohol concentration for fully licensed drivers is 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. Hence, the charge is known as over-80.