In another in a series of troubles for the implementation of Ohio’s newest breath test machine, Judge Grimm in Athens County has halted use of the Intoxilyzer 8000. Courts throughout Ohio must decide how, given this ruling, they will deal with the implementation of the machine. The issue before the court involved the rules adopted by the Ohio Department of Health. Specifically, the court was asked to address whether or not the Ohio Department of Health has authority to issue operator cards for the Intoxilyzer 8000, and assuming it does, whether or not the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC 3701-53) has articulated standards for who receives operator access cards and can thus use the machine.
Given its significance, I have included large portions of the decision in this posting.
On the first issue, the court concluded:
The second issue was more complicated.
Having found that the Ohio Department of Health has failed to articulate standards for the issuance of operator access cards, the Court then has to decide the impact and legal significance of this omission.
Congratulations to Jon Saia, a great DUI/OVI attorney who argued this case in the Athens Municipal Court. This is a significant case that represents another black eye for the Ohio Department of Health who has had multiple missteps in the implementation of this machine.