Ohio judge bars results from portable breath tests

(Source: Oregon State Police Forensic Services Division)
(Source: Oregon State Police Forensic Services Division)

COLUMBUS, OH (AP) - A municipal judge in central Ohio says his court won't accept evidence from a portable device used to test the breath of suspected drunken drivers until the state proves the machine provides accurate results.

The $8,000 device is called the Intoxilyzer 8000. The Columbus Dispatch reports 220 of the testers are in use in 79 of the 88 counties in Ohio as part of a gradual rollout by state officials.

State health officials defend the accuracy and reliability of the portable machines, but defense attorneys challenging the tests argue heat and humidity skew the results.

The newspaper says the ruling this week by Judge Gary Dumm in Circleville threw out test results in three DUI cases. Pickaway County officers now will have to use older testing methods.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)