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Judge Rules Defense Can Get DUI Machine Source Code 270

Posted by kdawson
from the weird-or-inexplicable dept.
pfleming alerts us to developments in Arizona on a subject we have frequently discussed (e.g. FL, MN, NJ): efforts in DUI cases to obtain source code to devices that analyze blood alcohol levels. On Friday a Pima County Superior Court judge ruled that the software that powers the Intoxilyzer 8000 must be revealed to defense lawyers. "Defense attorneys representing more than 20 people arrested on felony DUI charges agreed to consolidate their cases into one and to argue it before [Judge] Bernini ... The source codes are crucial because the Intoxilyzer 8000 sometimes gives 'weird' or inexplicable results ... Six other states have been battling CMI [maker of the Intoxilyzer] over the source code — Minnesota, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Tennessee and New Jersey... CMI has currently racked up over $1.2 million in fines in a civil contempt order for not disclosing the source code in Florida."
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Judge Rules Defense Can Get DUI Machine Source Code

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  • Why not prosecute? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @03:18PM (#24992461)
    I'm sorry, but if a company is making it impossible for DUI prosecutions to be done fairly, the company officers should be sitting in jail whilst we wait to find out if they can get the source code together or not.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by collinstocks (1295204)

      They probably lost the source code and are too ashamed to tell anyone.

      • no (Score:5, Funny)

        by commodoresloat (172735) * on Saturday September 13, 2008 @04:31PM (#24992993)

        The problem is the source code looks something like this:

        if ($suspect == black) {
                print ".12";
        }
        elsif ($suspect == hispanic) {
                print ".14";
        }
        elsif ($suspect == irish) {
                print "ERROR";
        }

        • Re:no (Score:5, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 13, 2008 @05:16PM (#24993383)

          I'm Irish, you insensitive clod!

          Seriously, though, people make a big fuss if you make fun of just about any ethnic group other than the Irish. But you can say all you want about the Irish and get away with it. Racists!

          • Re:no (Score:5, Funny)

            by rubycodez (864176) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @05:44PM (#24993575)

            you are absolutely correct, it's improper to make fun of any ethnic group, except of course the damn French.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by KeithJM (1024071)
            Actually, you're wrong. I remember as a kid visiting my cousins in England and reading their "Irish Jokes" books. For the Americans, they were the same stupid, unacceptable jokes presented here as Polish jokes. Anyway, they've stopped that now, so you can't get away with it.
            But have you ever heard anyone stand up for the English? How many movies have you seen where the evil genius villain has an English accent? The world must think England is a country of Evil Geniuses and Super Spies. Oh, and drunk
            • Re:no (Score:5, Insightful)

              by cayenne8 (626475) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @01:09AM (#24996141) Homepage Journal
              "For the Americans, they were the same stupid, unacceptable jokes presented here as Polish jokes. Anyway, they've stopped that now, so you can't get away with it."

              Where did you get that idea? I take it you've never read the "Truly Tasteless Joke" book series?

              Ethnic jokes are told all the time....it is just that if you have a group of people, they might look over to make sure no one of said ethnicity is around to hear the joke, but, that is the extent of it. Look, all of us have funny attributes and general behaviors. You just can't have too thin a skin, and need to have a sense of humour. And let's face it....these behaviors and traits didn't come out of the blue......many of them are based on real observable things in life.

              Relax a little, and learn to laugh at yourself a little.

    • by Courageous (228506) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @03:24PM (#24992503)

      It doesn't require a prosecution. If the judge gets irritated enough regarding their civil contempt, he can jail them summarily until they comply. I think, however, that judges are often reluctant to do this.

      I should imagine that there is a long list of well established procedures for handling contempt. While I think it's well within a judge's power to jail almost indefinitely for contempt until the contempt is remedied, I suspect that there are rules of jurisprudence that govern them otherwise to some degree.

      The contempt charges can continue indefinitely by the way. They will have to reveal their code eventually or go bankrupt, and this still won't get them out of contempt. IOW, it's only a matter of time before they reveal, and they are being immensely stupid.

      There is this story (urban legend?) that Larry Flint of Hustler fame was fined $10K per day for contempt once. He sent the fine in pennies. In response, the Judge said he liked pennies and would gladly accept $50K a day paid in pennies.

      One should not baldly thwart the judge. Makes you wonder who their lawyers are.

      C//

      • by Rich0 (548339) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @03:44PM (#24992651) Homepage

        Hmm - they don't seem to hesitate much when the issue is a news reporter refusing to testify about sources. It seems like this kind of discretion is reserved for corrupt C-level officers...

      • by slashqwerty (1099091) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @06:40PM (#24994007)

        They will have to reveal their code eventually or go bankrupt

        If a bug is revealed in their code there is likely to be a class action lawsuit against them on behalf of everyone that was ever convicted of driving while intoxicated on account of their device. The costs associated with a single conviction far exceed the cost of one of these machines. The company would go bankrupt if that were to happen.

    • I disagree. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by raehl (609729) <raehl311@[ ]oo.com ['yah' in gap]> on Saturday September 13, 2008 @04:28PM (#24992961) Homepage

      At some point, the suspects were caught, and the state needed to collect evidence of their BAC. Unfortunately, the state, instead of using a device that could provide accurate, verifiable evidence, used a device that, due to the lack of source code, could not provide verifiable evidence. Since the evidence is not verifiable, then the evidence is not admissible. Next time, the state should buy and use breathalyzers that produce admissible evidence.

      While their action is despicable, the breathalyzer vendor didn't agree to provide their source code as part of the purchase, and shouldn't be forced to do so after the fact because the state didn't buy a device suitable for the task.

      It's a bit like if I went to the state and offered to sell them a breathalyzer, and delivered a bicube blood alcohol measurement device, which is used by giving the two cubes to the suspect, having them throw the cubes on the ground, and then counting the number of dots that are showing on the top faces of the cubes. The state should know my breathalyzer isn't going to produce admissible evidence and shouldn't buy it and try and use the results in court.

      Just like voting machines, states need to learn to stop spending millions of dollars on technology that doesn't work.

    • by Z34107 (925136)

      I'm sorry, but if a company is making it impossible for DUI prosecutions to be done fairly, the company officers should be sitting in jail whilst we wait to find out if they can get the source code together or not.

      Or maybe, better yet, if a breathalyser's results can't be used in court, that company should lose a lot of business.

      Having a working product (esp. one that "works" for a particular purpose) is usually a pretty strong selling point.

  • Idiotic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by langelgjm (860756) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @03:25PM (#24992505) Journal

    In court documents, Deputy Pima County Attorney Robin Schwartz said the defense attorneys' requests "bear all the hallmarks of a fishing expedition." Common sense shows that people rely on software and source-code information for everyday matters, Schwartz argued. One just looks at the results to know if something works or not. Schwartz used electricity as an example. "No one . . . needs to see a schematic of wiring to know that when he flips the switch on the wall, the light will come on," Schwartz said.

    Um, that assumes that you are comparing the result with a known value. The point of a breathalyzer is to determine an unknown value.

    Unless of course this attorney is saying that they already know the accused are drunk, in which case the breathalyzer is redundant.

    • by JohnFluxx (413620)

      Indeed, it's like seeing that the light is switching on and off and from that concluding that it is a person doing the switching. I'd want to see the electrical schematics to be sure that it is indeed wired to the light switch correctly.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Media_Scumbag (217725)

      Um, that assumes that you are comparing the result with a known value. The point of a breathalyzer is to determine an unknown value.

      Unless of course this attorney is saying that they already know the accused are drunk, in which case the breathalyzer is redundant.

      INAL, but I was convicted of a DWI.

      The known value is an reference alcohol unit pre-applied prior to each test as a calibration, to establish that the machine is accurate. The unit is equivalent to a reading obtained in medical studies show to prove the average person intoxicated. This calibration is noted on your Breathalyzer card, along with your results (usually 2, spaced an hour apart, with different reference units), which will be noted on the complaint, and included in the arrest report.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by langelgjm (860756)

        The known value is an reference alcohol unit pre-applied prior to each test as a calibration, to establish that the machine is accurate. The unit is equivalent to a reading obtained in medical studies show to prove the average person intoxicated. This calibration is noted on your Breathalyzer card, along with your results (usually 2, spaced an hour apart, with different reference units), which will be noted on the complaint, and included in the arrest report.

        Good to know, but still doesn't really address the issue. Here's why.

        When my father was still practicing, he had a digital scale that was miscalibrated. Up to about 60 lbs, it would give fairly accurate values (maybe within 1/2 lb), but above that, it became increasingly inaccurate, consistently underweighing. Thus, even if you had weighed two reference weights of 30 and 60 lbs, you would have thought that the scale was properly calibrated.

        Secondly, if the unit is designed to show that the average person is

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by StormReaver (59959)

        "INAL, but I was convicted of a DWI."

        I am a computer programmer, and rest assured that the manner in which the machine handles the calibration test doesn't necessarily indicate how it handles the breath test. Both tests likely have different entry points to the core functions which do the measurements, meaning that there is more than one way for the machine to screw up. There is also no way to be sure that the machine is using the same code to do the measurements. For all we know, the calibration code an

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Weird numbers? What weird numbers...?

  • Sixth Ammedment (Score:5, Informative)

    by mangu (126918) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @03:28PM (#24992527)

    the accused shall enjoy the right ... to be confronted with the witnesses against him; [cornell.edu]

    In this case the withess is a machine, he has the constitutional right to know how that machine works

    • Re:Sixth Ammedment (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @03:34PM (#24992579) Homepage
      No, the witness is the police officer who administered the sobriety test. The machine is just one of the pieces of evidence that the officer uses to make an arrest.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Media_Scumbag (217725)

        Convicted of a DWI.

        What I found most intellectually troubling is that, in AZ (among toughest DUI laws in the country), the violations schedule awards the most "points" for potential crimes - actions that are crimes because of their potential to cause harm, property damage or death. The next "rung" down on the "ladder" includes crimes that result in harm, property damage or death.

        I know I was wrong, and I no longer drink at all. Drunk driving is a serious problem, that should be addressed.

        However, the way i

      • Re:Sixth Ammedment (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Skapare (16644) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @04:37PM (#24993065) Homepage

        If the police officer relies on the reading from the device, then it is not really the police officer's judgment being presented, but just a re-iteration of what he read. Is the police officer able to testify about the accuracy of the device? Is the police officer able to testify about whether a device driver that reads values from an ADC register is doing so with the correct clock synchronization to ensure that does skew the time differential meaning of the results?

        • by j79zlr (930600)
          Generally they are asked to testify that the machine has been tested and certified within a certain time period. I won't get into the validity of that certification, but that would be all that the officer is required to testify to.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by crimguy (563504)
        Sorry, you have it backwards. The Intoxilyzer 8000 is used after an arrest. It's a lot bigger than the PBT you're probably imagining. The cop is just a tool to provide probable cause for the arrest. The machine is an evidence gathering machine that will be used to convict some poor hapless schmuck for DUI.
    • by nomadic (141991)
      In this case the withess is a machine, he has the constitutional right to know how that machine works

      Legally, witnesses must be people; machines and animals don't count.
    • Re:Sixth Ammedment (Score:4, Interesting)

      by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @04:05PM (#24992813) Homepage Journal

      If the witness in my case is a human, do I have a constitutional right to know how the human works?

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @03:28PM (#24992531)
    rule that all programming used for government functions be open source, unless there's an overriding reason for it to be closed. This outfit appears to have manufactured and marketed a fundamentally flawed piece of technology that may very well have resulted in prison time for innocent people. Not acceptable ... a manufacturer's need to maintain a competitive edge should not be held more important than our right to not be falsely accused and wrongly imprisoned. Now, of course there may be other issues with CMI's product other than the firmware, but a detailed examination of the code is a good first step.

    Furthermore, the people responsible for the decision to market the Intoxilyzer should be held accountable for the device's failures, especially if they sold it knowing that the design was defective. Sure, it costs more money to properly certify a design, and to implement effective quality controls. Still, if auto manufacturers have to suffer multi-million-dollar lawsuits over tiny flaws in vehicle design, these guys should hardly get off scot-free.
    • by jimicus (737525)

      rule that all programming used for government functions be open source, unless there's an overriding reason for it to be closed.

      That would never fly, on the simple basis that every government department would have to replace every IT system they own - and some people with an awful lot of money are still very attached to the idea of closed source.

      However, I can't think of any good reason why "open source" should not be applied to equipment used for justice purposes (eg. speed cameras, breathalysers) and mean "open to the government and, where applicable, to defence lawyers for use by expert witnesses" rather than "available to anyone

      • Well, I think in most of the situations where governments use software, the public's needs are just as well served by open protocols and document formats. Open software would be nice, but you're right that it wouldn't be economically practical at this point. Perhaps had it been mandated thirty years ago ... but it wasn't.

        However, in situations where an individuals life and liberty are at risk ... yes, you're absolutely right. Cameras, breathalyzers, ODB interfaces, surveillance systems of all kinds, ther
        • by jimicus (737525)

          All in all, I'm not sure sure that such source code shouldn't be truly "open". I know what you're saying, and it's logical enough. However, being available to defense lawyers and such leaves too much room for a serious defect to simply be swept under the rug by an out-of-court settlement. Consequently, people involved in similar cases would not be able to benefit from discovery.

          IANAL, but my understanding regarding criminal cases (and bear in mind that I'm not American either, so I may be way off here) there's no such thing as an out-of-court settlement.

          There's "dropping the charges because we've just discovered that our evidence is nonexistent", and there's "pleading guilty (to either the original charge or a lesser charge)", both of which substantially reduce the amount of time spent in court.

          • by wfstanle (1188751)

            This is the equivalent of an out of court settlement. If a defendant pleads guilty in exchange for a lesser penalty, it's usually not done in open court. Then again, the judge is usually not obligated to honor the agreement between the prostitution and the defense.

            • by rts008 (812749)

              "Then again, the judge is usually not obligated to honor the agreement between the prostitution and the defense."

              You are correct, but I think you might have wanted to type prosecution instead of prostitution. Using prosecution, you would still be correct IMHO.

              Typical /.er, always thinking of blackjack and hookers! Awwhh, forget the blackjack. :-)

      • But since court records are public, wouldn't any source code entered as an exhibit in a courtroom automatically become a matter of public record?

  • A few points.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 13, 2008 @03:31PM (#24992557)
    I work as a law clerk in Minnesota, and while (being a clerk and all) I haven't "ordered" per se the source code be turned over, I've written many orders doing so -- until the Minnesota Supreme Court created a very high hurdle to getting it and no one has since requested. As stated by the attorney in the article, CMI won't turn the code over. Period. They simply will not obey court orders to do so. Minnesota is currently suing CMI in federal court, and we'll see how that turns out. But barring a federal court order, I assume they will simply continue to refuse to turn the code over. The result? Hundreds of DUIs being thrown out in Minnesota alone. Nice to see that the company cares more about their IP than the safety of our roads.
    • Re:A few points.... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Skapare (16644) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @04:17PM (#24992893) Homepage

      This should then result in police departments returning these defective devices for a refund, and further lawsuits as a result. I wonder if they care more about their IP than selling a product. What we need to do is get the word out to all police departments and prosecutors that they face serious hurdles keeping real offenders off the streets if they use this company's products. Let these company executives choose between being able to prove the accuracy of the device in court (if it is so) or going out of business from lack of sales in all 50 states.

      • by symbolic (11752)

        Like the states have done with all of the defective electronic voting machines the Diebold and others have unloaded on the American public? I think it's safer to consider it money flushed.

      • by cdrguru (88047)

        The problem is that unless the sensor is some kind of one-of-a-kind item unique to the company, what their entire product consists of is a sensor, a microprocessor and the code to interpret the readings from the sensor properly.

        Once the source code gets out into the world - and of course it will be leaked somewhere on the Internet - they no longer have anything at all. No product. Why? Because their product can then be replicated for 1/10th the price in China. I'd say that protecting the source code is

        • by Bert64 (520050)

          It's not exactly hard, i'm sure chinese companies are already manufacturing such devices...
          If the chinese ones are more open and verifiable, and cheaper to boot, you would be a complete fool to buy the inferior and more expensive american version.

    • And this is a surprise to you? They are selling a product, not safety.

      I would also imagine that if a major bug is found, they might have to refund all the purchases to date, and go under.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PMuse (320639)

      The result? Hundreds of DUIs being thrown out in Minnesota alone. Nice to see that the company cares more about their IP than the safety of our roads.

      Law enforcement will soon come to grips with the fact that it cannot get a conviction with CMI. Law enforcement will then buy other equipment or use some other sobriety test.

      At that point, CMI will be able to sell DUI products only in states that have already ruled that the source need not be turned over. Eventually, they will go out of business or cave.

    • CMI and Minnesota have reached an agreement to make the source code availiable. there is not much else in the snoozepaper article, buried inside the local section today.

      frankly, I would expect some enterprising attorney to require a "normal" sample showing correct calibration for his cases, and see whether the state goes to blood tests for prosecutions.

      it is an option for either law enforcement or the suspect to take a blood alcohol test in MN. it's a hospital trip, and that's going to wreck the cop's nig

  • While there may prove to be some problem in the source code that destroys accuracy, it would be far more likely that any error is caused by the actual sensor. The only real error I can see them making in the source code would be averaging multiple readings from the sensor together.

    The real way to determine if the Intoxilyzer is accurate is to do repeated lab tests using known concentrations of alcohol in air. This would take both software and hardware into account.
    • by Skapare (16644)

      An error that can happen in C code might be that register address is not given the "volatile" attribute, and is therefore not actually read in all cases where the code would seem to be doing so. A function intended to read the register might be doing a loop reading the register until some other condition becomes true. In most cases that condition is true immediately, but in rare cases that condition is delayed. So the function only read the register once and merely assumed it re-read it all the remaining

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by danzona (779560)
      While there may prove to be some problem in the source code that destroys accuracy, it would be far more likely that any error is caused by the actual sensor.

      Your assumptions that the manufacturer of the tester wants a fair test is unverified.

      I'm not saying that this is the case, but what if the manufacturer, who is selling to law enforcement, wants to build a tester that will err on the side of too many positives? For example, what if the auditing the source revealed that the tester takes 5 reading
  • by Skapare (16644) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @03:56PM (#24992765) Homepage

    Schwartz used electricity as an example.

    "No one . . . needs to see a schematic of wiring to know that when he flips the switch on the wall, the light will come on," Schwartz said.

    And what would this guy do if he finds that sometimes the light doesn't come on? Or the light goes off on its own? Or comes on by itself? Or flickers and buzzes? An electrician would need to know the wiring involved. A diagram or schematic would be used, if available, or else he would have to trace the wires (reverse engineering).

    And this analogy doesn't even apply to a measurement device. What if he uses a volt meter that says the voltage is 120 volts ... does he assume that because the meter deflected that it's reading is correct? It could be a 240 volt circuit that has each wire only 120 volts relative to ground.

    Any device that cannot be independently verified as operating correctly at all times should not have any of its results submitted in court for any purpose other than to argue that the device is defective in a case against the manufacturer.

  • This comes straight from the product's PDF made available on the manufacturers website.

    Under "Features and Options", "REAL-TIME CLOCK: accurate to ±10 minutes per year."

    Now, although I'm pretty sure that time measurements aren't required for analysis, I have to wonder the accuracy rate is like for it's intended purpose.

    That argument aside, unless the clocks are well-maintained this sort of time drift could really skew the evidence in a case where time was critical. A poorly maintained machine co

    • by perlchild (582235)

      The clock drift is not likely to be that high between two measurements. And if it is, well it won't be 10 minutes for a year. It'd be much better expressed in milliseconds per minute. I think the real-time clock in this case is likely used for printouts, such as the device might do to save the police officer having to write down, instead he just has to initial it as being correct to what's displayed on the device.

  • I'm sure that the only possible reason that they don't reveal the source code is that it's badly commented, and that's in the places where it's commented at all. Isn't modular or structured. Loop indexes are all "i" and "j". And it still contains a plethora of GOTO statements. The programmers don't want to reveal this to the world.

    Oh, and it's written in Visual Basic 4.
    • Actually I can think of a better reason why they don't want the source code made public. Earlier in this discussion it was claimed that they never submitted it for a patent or copyright. The reason for this might be because they are infringing on a patent.

  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @05:01PM (#24993279)
    In NYC the police using their breathalyzers (might be a different model) could trigger an intoxicated reading just by keying their radios nearby. The needle would jump higher and they could use that to lock you away for hours until a much slower blood test refused to confirm the reading. It is well known that they used this "ability" to harass and lock away people who annoyed them with no justification. There are all kinds of "tricks" that can be played with these machines and the defense is right to be very leery of any "evidence" provided by them.

    And I know Pima county well enough to know not to rely on what their attorneys say as the final word on anything.
  • How did they getthis thing past homologation in the first place?

  • by l2718 (514756) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @06:16PM (#24993821)

    While I agree that government should not use "expert testimony" that can't be reproduced, I don't buy the following logic (from the story, haven't read the opinion yet):

    [the] Judge ... ruled that the source code is not a trade secret. ... the president of ... the company that manufactures the machine, testified that the [machine] is not patented, and neither is its copyright on the source code [sic].

    So: if it's not patented and not under copyright then it's not a trade secret? Usually a company gets a choice: copyright/patent (publish but get protection) or trade secret (can't publish). No patent or copyright holds in favour of trade secret protection.

    The real ruling should be that while the company should be free to keep the workings of their device secret, the government should not be allowed to rely on evidence produced via devices whose inner workings are secret.

  • by Mad-cat (134809) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @08:45PM (#24994717) Homepage

    I work in the State of Florida as a police officer, and I arrest and charge people with DUI on a regular basis.

    In my opinion, this ruling was exactly on the money, and far too long in coming. If a company refuses to disclose evidence, the State should immediately stop using their product to obtain evidence.

    As a certified expert witness, I am able to testify to the impairment of a subject without the need of a breath analysis to verify. About 20-30% of the cases I testify in have no breath results because the defendant refuses to provide a breath sample. We only forcefully obtain samples (of blood, not breath) when a traffic homicide is involved.

    If the evidence is faulty, I *need* to know. I can only uphold my oath of office if I can testify in good faith that I am using proper methods of obtaining evidence. If this company is witholding vital information, they should not be allowed to sell their product to law enforcement.

  • Star Trek (Score:3, Interesting)

    by seeker_1us (1203072) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @09:22PM (#24994969)
    There was a classic episode of Star Trek, where Captain Kirk was going to be prosecuted for murder. The chief witness against him was computer logs, and that was awful because computers couldn't be wrong.

    His lawyers defense was that every man had the right to face his accuser, and that included the computers.

    Captain Kirk was innocent. The computer records were falsified.

    The DUI makers should watch this episode.

  • by Fished (574624) <amphigory@gmaCOMMAil.com minus punct> on Saturday September 13, 2008 @11:32PM (#24995661)
    Okay... I truly appreciate the desire to get access to source code for this sort of device. However, if I were on a jury, I would be much less interested in seeing the source code (or hearing testimony from an expert who had) and much more interested in hearing testimony on the testing process for the particular binary image installed on the device in question.

    The bottom line is that, particularly in an embedded device working with sensors, many problems will simply not be apparent from the source code, no matter how good you are. The only way to know that this device gives good data is to give it the same sort of rigorous testing we give (for example) new drugs and electronics that go into airplanes and military hardware.

    I would want to see this device subjected to adverse environments, radio interference, being operated on the side of the road, etc. etc., and still reliably producing results that closely correlated with those produced by reference tests (i.e. blood alcohol tests). If this sort of testing is done for each and every revision of the device's firmware then the company is right, source code is irrelevant. This isn't like a voting machine... it has a discrete, limited number of inputs, no operating system, and a small memory pool--the only way to tamper with it would be to alter the firmware, and that can be checked with a simple checksum. And if this sort of testing isn't being done, then these devices are worthless and shouldn't be used to send someone to jail, because anyone who knows anything about programming knows that any project of any complexity will have bugs, and this sort of testing is the only way to catch them.

    So... does anyone know how these devices are tested? How rigorous is the testing? Is it serious, covering all conditions, and all revisions no matter how minor, or is it the usual "get the bad guys, screw civil liberties" sort of half-assed stuff that we've come to expect from American law enforcement?

    I have no sympathy for drunk drivers... but I don't want anyone sent to jail on evidence that even MIGHT be false.

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