An audit of the Attorney General’s Office found that 34 driving under the influence (DUI) tests were invalid and can be dismissed in a court of law. The tests reviewed by the State Auditor’s Office included 8,925 total tests during the two-year audit period which ended June 30, 2020.
The Attorney General’s Office State Crime Laboratory division is authorized by state law to approve devices, develop a testing procedure, and certify qualified operators of breath alcohol testing devices. The evidential breath alcohol testing devices utilized by North Dakota are called the Intoxilyzer 8000. Breath alcohol gas standard canisters in these devices serve as a check to see if the devices are calibrated and functioning correctly at the time of breath testing during a suspected DUI.
If breath alcohol tests for a DUI are performed using unapproved or expired gas standard canisters, the results are considered invalid and can be dismissed in a court of law. Tests were conducted with gas standard canisters that had been expired for up to 153 days.
“It’s important to follow the DUI testing guidelines so each person tested is fairly evaluated against the same standard,” said State Auditor Joshua Gallion. “We’re happy to hear that after our audit, the Attorney General’s Office is in the process of updating their breath alcohol testing devices so these errors shouldn’t occur again.”
This audit is a result of the State Auditor’s Office statutory responsibility to audit or review each state agency once every two years. The complete audit report for the two-year audit period ended June 30, 2020, can be found here.