In an unpublished opinion by the Minnesota Court of Appeals on March 31, 2009 entitled State v. Kuklok, Judge Bjorkman reversed the district court’s previous order compelling disclosure of the computer source code for the Intoxilyzer 5000EN (Minnesota’s breath alcohol testing device). This was the machine utilized to test the blood alcohol concentration of the driver, which revealed a BAC of .20. The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that the district court abused its discretion in determining that discovery of the source code was relevant to the defendant’s guilt or innocence in this case.
The Defendant in Kukolk was charged with second-degree DWI while having a blood alchohol concentration of .20 or more. At the pretrial hearing, the defense counsel, having provided the court with several supporting documents and affidavits explaining the importance and significance of the source code with regard to an Intoxilyzer result, moved the court for an order compelling the state to disclose the computer source code of the Intoxilyzer 5000EN. The district court granted defendant’s motion and ordered disclosure to be completed within 30 days, otherwise, the Intozilyzer test result would be suppressed.
On Appeal, Judge Bjorkman reversed the district court’s ruling finding that the defendant failed to make a connection between his specific Intoxilyzer 5000EN result and the information it felt the source code would provide, if disclosed. Furthermore, on another issue, Judge Bjorkman ruled that the defendant also failed to establish that the source code is actually in the state’s possession or control.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals seems to be indicating that, for disclosure, it’s simply not enough to present general evidence as to the significance of the source code in the Intoxilyzer 5000EN testing sequence. But, the burden for the Minnesota DWI Lawyer is to show, in some manner, how the source code would relate to the specific guilt or innocence of the specific defendant in Minnesota and his or her specific Intoxilyzer result.