State V. Root

In this DWI case, years of work challenging the Vermont State Lab’s prejudicial and biased breath/alcohol calculations finally hit pay dirt.

It was well known that credible scientist would not rely on a single “average” metabolism rate when calculating a subject’s actual breath/alcohol concentration. Despite that fact, the Lab stubbornly maintained that the elimination rate they used to express a single and absolute concentration number “benefited” 90% of those accused of DWI.

Sleigh Law has what is believed to be the largest privately held library of scientific breath/alcohol publications in Vermont. David Sleigh is, like the State’s Chemists, a graduate of the University of Indiana’s alcohol testing education program.

At the hearing in Root, and under detailed and thorough cross-examination, the Director of Vermont Forensics Laboratory’s alcohol testing program had to admit: there was no scientific support for their claim that the elimination rate they used benefited 90% of those accused; and, that there is always a range of possible breath/alcohol concentrations – one size does not fit all.

After the decision in Root, the lab changed the way they report breath/alcohol concentrations to the benefit of every operator charged with DWI.

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