Ryan Russman and the Evidentiary Use of the Ignition Interlock Device

Posted by Ryan Russman | Oct 28, 2013 | 0 Comments

Many states, including New Hampshire, are implementing new techniques for discouraging drunk driving. If you have had a prior DUI conviction or conviction for driving on a revoked license, or have been presently convicted of an aggravated DUI in New Hampshire, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicles as a condition for maintaining your driving privileges.

IIDs are breath machines attached to the ignition that will not start the vehicle until the driver blows into the device and registers a blood alcohol content (BAC) below 0.02 percent. Should the device register at least 0.02 percent, the result is reported to law enforcement, which can result in revocation of your driver's license and criminal DUI charges.

A BAC of 0.02 is equivalent to one 12 oz. can of beer, or less, depending on the size, weight and gender of the drinker, which is close to a zero tolerance level. Although the standard legal BAC limit for driving a vehicle is 0.08 percent, the law sets a much lower level for those with prior or serious DUI convictions.

According to Ryan Russman, a DUI specialist from Exeter, New Hampshire, he has serious concerns about the validity of the test results and the inability of the accused to challenge the results. Because the IID is operated by relatively new technology, called cell fuel technology, it is not yet subject to evidentiary challenge. Consequently, the accused is tried and convicted by a machine, hardly what the US Constitution would sanction.

Russman acknowledges that the IID works well most of the time and for most people, but it may not be a valid indicator for others. Russman contends that any person's metabolism could react differently under certain conditions and trigger a false positive reading. Certain medications or medical conditions, such as diabetes or those with acid reflux disease, can also produce false positives. Further, like any machine, it may just malfunction at times for no reason at all.

In a typical DUI case with a chemical test result, defense attorneys can challenge the validity of the results by any number of means. In a IID case, however, defense attorneys like Ryan Russman have no opportunity in court to challenge the data that supports the machine.

New Hampshire does not permit provisional or restricted driver's licenses for work or for medical purposes only, so an individual who loses her or her license from a false IID reading faces substantial collateral consequences, including loss of employment. Also, a false positive subjects the person to criminal sanctions, including jail time.

These and other DUI and criminal law issues are constantly questioned and challenged by Ryan Russman, one of New Hampshire's premiere DUI attorneys. Mr. Russman is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and has been board certified as a specialist in DUI defense by the National College of DUI Defense. He has also been recognized by AVVO, an independent attorney rating service, as one of the nation's top DUI defense attorneys.

Mr. Russman, a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and of Suffolk University Law School of Boston, Massachusetts, has written and published manuals, books and articles on DUI defense that are widely read by DUI defense practitioners. He has also created informational videos on DUI issues and has appeared on radio and television to address DUI topics.

If you are charged with a DUI, you should immediately contact NH DWI Attorney Ryan Russman at (603) 772-3433 for a free, no obligation consultation.

About the Author

Ryan Russman

Attorney Ryan Russman has dedicated his career to fighting for the rights of New Hampshire citizens. His practice, based in Exeter (Rockingham County) New Hampshire, is limited to cases involving DWI and DUI, other motor vehicle and criminal cases, and many cases involving personal injury. He is, however, best known as one of New Hampshire's leading legal authorities on DWI.


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