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State v. Poitras

State v. Poitras, 2015 MT 287 (Oct. 6, 2015) (McKinnon, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court abused its discretion by concluding sufficient foundation existed to admit the result of Poitras’s breath test.

Short Answer: No.


Facts: Casey Poitras was arrested for DUI in May 2012, and submitted to a breath test on an Intoxilyzer 8000, which registered a BAC of .149%. Poitras moved to exclude the results, arguing the county’s two senior operators of the Intoxilyzer were not properly recertified. The state put in evidence that both operators had successfully competed their recertification exams in January 2012 and were issued new permits, but did not provide evidence of prior examinations. Poitras argued this evidence was necessary to show they were properly recertified in accordance with the rules.…

State v. Levanger

State v. Levanger, 2015 MT 83 (Feb. 11, 2015) (McGrath, C.J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether lower court abused its discretion when it denied Levanger’s motion to exclude Intoxilyzer 8000 breath test results.

Short Answer: No.


Facts: Levanger was arrested for DUI and transported to county jail for breathalyzer test at 8:40 a.m. Approximately five minutes into the drive, officer stopped vehicle and checked Levanger’s mouth for substances. Intoxilyzer 8000 recommends subject refrain from oral ingestion of anything 20 minutes before test. Levanger had chewing tobacco, which officer asked him to spit out. Officer then asked Levanger to open his mouth and lift his tongue, but did not physically check Levanger’s mouth.

At 9:11 a.m., Levanger’s breath sample on Intoxilyzer 8000 indicated a BAC of .126.…