recently reported that a company is developing technology that detects a person's alcohol level by measuring having the subject place a finger on a device known as the TruTouch 2000. The device was announced as being aimed at industry and at law enforcement such as Washington state DUI squads for use in DUI trials. There, accurate measurement of breath or blood alcohol is a critical piece of evidence in a DUI prosecution. One never knows where technology will lead in the future, but it is unlikely that finger alcohol tests will be admissible evidence in any Washington state DUI prosecution soon. First, Washington State DUI law at this time only relies a breath test and under limited circumstances, a blood test. There is no “finger test” for alcohol permitted in our DUI laws. Second, breath and blood alcohol testing has been the subject of scientific study for years, and still today there is controversy regarding the accuracy of test results. An alcohol reading based upon measurement of a finger would certainly be challenged in a criminal prosecution for lack of general acceptance in the scientific community, and such evidence would justifiably be subject to intense scrutiny by a judge in a DUI criminal prosecution. Such scrutiny is warranted because whereas the alcohol readings from a finger might be acceptable evidence in the context of industrial monitoring for safety, evidence must be proven to be scientifically valid and worthy of admission into evidence in a criminal prosecution where a citizen's liberty is at stake. The article may be found here.

Our firm has years of experience challenging breath and blood alcohol evidence in DUI trials in King County and elsewhere in Washington state.

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