Op-Ed for Portfolio — iamsleepy01

Arrested by a machine

Millions of drivers are pulled over and are bombarded with tests such as: Standing on one foot, walking from toe to toe and the machine that can’t be trusted – The Breathalyzer. Many teens have been pulled over and forced to blow into a machine that is a really bad invention to convict people from drunk driving. The Breathalyzer, most widely used forensic tools in law enforcement, generate numbers that can guarantee a driver’s punishment. Why should we trust the machine that put hundreds of “drunk” drivers behind bars? We shouldn’t; In Massachusetts and New Jersey in the past year, judges had thrown out more than 30,000 breath tests to human errors.

Thousands of breath tests also have been invalidated in recent years. There also have been cases where the police tampered with the test and got innocent people arrested. The breath test in many cases could have been calibrated incorrectly giving the result 20-40% more than the actual result. Coders had found many mistakes in the code in the system. Many states picked machines that experts didn’t trust and hope for something else with high accuracy.

Some veterans in the industry believe that the tests should not be a factor of a person’s guilt. Yet, if a person doesn’t take the test, they will have their license confiscated or revoked. Many people are wrongly accused of drunk driving based on debatable evidence. If innocent people refuse to take the test and have their license revoked and possibly have a DUI and could those their jobs. People who were wrongly convicted were never notified that their cases were built on the inaccurate machines/tests.

The test is based on a machine that could have an error and could wrongly put innocent people to jail. People aren’t perfect, same with machines, people make machines and could always have small errors. The best way to prevent innocent people from getting arrested is to create a perfect machine that could accurately detect if a driver is impaired.

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