The weblog of Joshua Drescher

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Judicial roundup.

June 6th, 2005 · No Comments · Politics, Rants, Technology


Hundreds of cases involving breath-alcohol tests have been thrown out by Seminole County judges in the past five months because the test’s manufacturer will not disclose how the machines work.

All four of Seminole County’s criminal judges have been using a standard that if a DUI defendant asks for a key piece of information about how the machine works - its software source code, for instance - and the state cannot provide it, the breath test is rejected, the Orlando Sentinel reported Wednesday.

While drunk driving is stupid and I’m all for removing dangerous, drunk idiots from the roads, this establishes an astoundingly useful precedent. This same argument can almost CERTAINLY be used to defeat speeding tickets from radar and lidar guns, red light cameras and other asinine, Draconian toys that local authorities routinely use to squeeze money from the general public. I’m half tempted to go blow through a red light RIGHT NOW just to get a chance to be the first person to bring this to the Courts in Virginia.

Not awesome:

Federal authorities may prosecute sick people whose doctors prescribe marijuana to ease pain, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, concluding that state laws don’t protect users from a federal ban on the drug.

I find the “if you don’t like it, change the law” excuse unconvincing in this case, since the SCotUS basically ignored Constitutional limits on federal meddling in state-specific commercial laws. In addition, it feels REALLY weird to agree with Clarence Thomas on ANYTHING.


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