Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Minnesota and CMI reach agreement on release of Intoxilyzer source code

The State of Minnesota and CMI have reached a settlement agreement in a dispute over the release of the computer source code for the Intoxilyzer 5000EN. The agreement will supposedly allow anyone accused of DWI in Minnesota full access to the machine's computer source code.

Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner Michael Campion said "We are very pleased that we have given the defense attorneys everything they need to analyze the source code..." Of course he didn't mention the $50,000 CMI is handing over to the state to hire experts to defend the source code from challenges.

The agreement calls for CMI to make the source code available for review at its Owensboro, Kentucky headquarters free of charge for any "authorized Minnesota litigant," his attorney and/or his expert. A bound version of the code will also be available to any "authorized Minnesota litigant,"his  attorney and/or his expert for no more than $250.

Some issues still remain, however. Requiring attorneys and experts to travel to Kentucky could price most defendants out of a source code challenge - especially since the bound version is a decompiled version of the source code that omits key aspects, according to Minnesota criminal defense attorney Chuck Ramsey.

The settlement was reached without the input of the Plaintiff/Intervenors and the court will hold a hearing on adopting the agreement just ten days after the agreement was reached -- quite a bit quicker than the 45 days usually required under local rules for the federal courts in Minnesota.

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