September 30, 2016
Thousands of Oklahomans will potentially have their DUI-related driver’s license cases dismissed thanks to attorney Brian Morton of the Edge Law Firm in Tulsa and the Hunsucker Legal Group in Oklahoma City.
On Monday, September 26, the Oklahoma Supreme Court refused to hear a case in which Morton challenged the Oklahoma Board of Tests’ procedures for approving breath-testing devices used in DUI cases. By refusing to hear the case, the Supreme Court effectively upheld the ruling of the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals, which said that the Board of Tests did not follow proper procedures.
Based on the decision, the breath test used in all open or pending Oklahoma driver’s license cases is now invalid.
“This means that [the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety] is not going to be able to take your driver’s license based on that breath test,” explained Bruce Edge, founder and principal attorney of the Edge Law Firm.
“There are two separate types of cases from a DUI,” Edge continued. “You have an administrative case which deals with your driver’s license, and you have a criminal case which would deal with the DUI itself.”
Morton, a former DPS prosecutor who exclusively defends clients in their administrative driver’s license cases, explained how his case made its way to the state Supreme Court.
“I had a case in district court in which I argued that the Board of Tests required a new mouthpiece for each breath sample taken and that DPS had not shown compliance with this rule.
“That got the judge in the case looking into the Board of Tests’ administrative rules and resolutions, and he found that they were essentially circumventing the Administrative Procedures Act,” Morton said. “That resulted in the invalidation of the current breathalyzer test.”
Morton clarified that this decision will affect all current DPS administrative license cases, not just those being represented by the Edge Law Firm and Hunsucker Legal Group.
“This is literally going to have an impact on thousands of cases across the state of Oklahoma,” he said.
“This is the second time in three years that our firms have had a hand in invalidating the breath test across the state,” Edge added. “It is imperative that we hold DPS accountable and ensure that they play by their own rules.”
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