A new DUI breath testing machine for Washington State?

Washington State is slowly moving forward with plans to deploy new DUI breath testing machines. The state has already purchased a number of machines, the Draeger 9510, and is in the process of testing them before deploying them to be used in actual DUI arrests. The state is buying new breath test machines because the machines currently in place (known as DataMasters) are old technology, out of warranty, and are wearing out. As of the date of this blog, none of the new machines are in actual use in the field. However, the latest evidence that the state is moving forward with these new DUI breath test machines was the quiet passage of HB 2465. This new law, effective June 10, 2010, amends RCW 46.61.506 to permit the use of “dry gas” in the administration of a breath test to DUI suspects. The term “dry gas” refers to a vapor which will be introduced into the breath testing machine pursuant to testing protocol and the purpose is to determine whether the machine is properly calibrated. Prior law had only authorized the use of a liquid simulator solution in connection with the testing of DUI suspects.