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Ruling on blood-alcohol breath tests could impact other Oklahoma cases

Oklahoma driver's license revocations based on failed tests to determine breath-alcohol level are once again being called into question under a state Supreme Court ruling issued Tuesday.
by Randy Ellis Modified: January 28, 2014 at 9:25 pm •  Published: January 29, 2014

Oklahoma driver's license revocations based on failed breath tests that determine blood-alcohol level are once again being called into question under a state Supreme Court ruling issued Tuesday.

Citing a lack of prescribed maintenance procedures for the Intoxilyzer 8000 breath-alcohol testing instrument, the court found that the driver's license of Mark Muratore should not have been revoked following his April 2012 arrest by an Edmond police officer.

The Supreme Court also found that Oklahoma County Special Judge James Croy acted properly in refusing to accept into evidence the manufacturer's certificate of calibration and supplier's certificate of analysis for the gas canister.

The Supreme Court overturned a decision by the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals, which had overturned Croy's decision that found the revocation improper.

The Supreme Court said its decision would only apply to cases currently pending before the Department of Public Safety and administrative appeals pending in district courts. The decision does not apply to revocation cases where final judgments have already been entered.

Attorney Stephen G. Fabian Jr., who represented Muratore in the case, and attorney Stephen Krise, general counsel for the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, both said the decision could result in some other pending revocation cases being thrown out, but said it was unclear how many cases might be impacted.

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by Randy Ellis
Investigative Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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I have a high confidence in the instruments and the breath tests that are being administered in the field.”

Kevin Behrens,
state Board of Tests for Alcohol and Drug Influence agency director


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