The State’s Flawed Tool

Louisiana law says that an arresting officer can have you blow into a machine one time and get one number, and if that number is over the limit, then that’s good enough. Good enough for government work! Oh and if you refuse to blow into the machine – which is your right to do – you lose your driver’s license.

Here’s what they aren’t telling us – neither the State nor the manufacturer of the machine will allow anyone other than a technician employed by Louisiana State Police to test the machine for accuracy and reliability. And, the number that can land you in jail comes from a mathematical formula in the machine – a formula the manufacturer refuses to divulge.

So, one blow of breath into a machine maintained by law enforcement is converted into one number by an internal top secret mathematical formula. Flawed is an understatement.

Investigative reporters with The New York Times have been investigating problems with the technology used to make these cases. Their report can be found here: