Clerical error could lead to DUI dismissals

Saturday, July 30th 2005, 8:23 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The omission of a model number from a list of state-approved breath-alcohol detection equipment could lead to the dismissal of driving under the influence cases.

The clerical error was made public this week in a lawsuit by three people against the state Department of Public Safety's Board of Tests for Alcohol and Drug Influence.

The Oklahoman and KWTV report that the breath tests taken by the plaintiffs were verified by an electronic device that isn't on the state list of approved equipment.

McBeth Sample Junior -- state director of tests -- acknowledges he erred when he submitted paperwork in 2003 to have the machine added to the state approved list. That approval didn't come until July 11th.

Sample also spent $1,100 on nameplates from state-approved machines for the ones that weren't authorized in an attempt to rectify the situation.

The plaintiffs' attorney alleges Sample did it to hide his mistake.