Dak Prescott vs. “The Machine”

Posted by Vic Carmody | Mar 31, 2016 | 0 Comments

Most great players become famous through training techniques and coaching assistance for decades. Training camps, specialized drills, all lead to sport related combines which test strength, speed, coordination, and other measurements to enable the “Friday Night Hero's” to play on Saturday, and then on Sunday. I have heard that to progress from JV teams to the Professional ranks the ratio is one in sixteen thousand. To be that ‘one' requires a combination of health, diet, and a workout second to none. The ‘one' will spend hours on ‘machines' designed to maximize physical prowess, strength, speed and over all athletic dominance to start in a position as no other before.

            The “one” must come to trust his program to take him from here to the Hall of Fame. That trust starts in the machines to tune the body to physical perfection, to ward off injury, to rehab all sort skeletal issues that are bound to come over a long period of play, and ingrained into every athletic program and player.

            Dak Prescott was out late at night / or early morning, and in a 2016 “get-you-stopped –every-time Cadillac Escalade.” Mississippi State University is in a college town, which like all college towns, has a love hate relationship with incoming college students. How many years have I heard Law Enforcement say, “We just have to get them (the students) under control” which results in massive arrests and jammed court dockets from September through November of every school year.

            In Dak's arrest, there was no resisting arrest or disorderly conduct charges, so I must presume that Dak continued to be the leader/ scholar/ student athlete/Gentleman that we have come the know and respect.  Then there is the Starkville Police Department, who I have worked with for DECADES and Shawn Word is a really stand up leader of the DUI unit, although he was not the arresting office here.

            That leaves both parties depending in large part on the “machine,' to produce a breath alcohol reading for proof of Driving Under the Influence. In this case the State of Mississippi and the Starkville Police Department rely on the CMI Intoxilyzer © 8000 Breath Test Machine to confirm the arresting officer's probable cause to detain and arrest Dak Prescott.  

            The arresting officer must only have probable cause to arrest, the lowest standard in criminal law.  Probable cause can come in part from driving patterns, field sobriety exercises, and a Preliminary Breath Tester (PBT). In most cases, these observations are insufficient evidence to convict someone for DUI.  Law enforcement looks to the machine to confirm their observations by registering a breath test above the legal limit of .08% breath alcohol content and thus provide proof beyond a reasonable doubt of driving under the influence.

            In this case “The Machine” failed both Law Enforcement and Dak Prescott. “The Machine” failed not just once but twice and instead of producing a Breath Alcohol reading the Machine displayed ERROR codes. These ERROR codes pop up when the machine cannot produce a Breath Alcohol Reading either due to internal machine problems or external factors.

            In any case, Dak Prescott has no breath alcohol reading after two separate Breath testing procedures at two different times.  There is no reported blood or urine test although the Oktibbeha County hospital is nearby.

            Had the machine produced an alcohol reading above the legal limit Dak's arrest and DUI charge would have been more understood. However, this case will be now always shrouded in mystery.

            The “machine” has been in operation since 2004/05 or 11 to 12 years. Perhaps it time to switch to the new Intoxilyzer 9000, which is in use around the country, and the end the failure of the machine used in this case.

About the Author

Vic Carmody

Victor Carmody was employed by the Jackson Police Department as a police lieutenant from 1973-1980. With attorney Vic Carmody you get the best defense from knowing both sides of Mississippi driving under the influence (DUI / ms dui) law. Vic Carmody is an original Founding Regent and served as Dean of the National College for DUI Defense 2001-2002. He currently serves as a Fellow of the college and is active as an instructor during the summer trial college at Harvard Law School. Vic Carmody is the only attorney in the state who is board certified by the National College of DUI Defense. He is also the only attorney in the state who owns the Intoxilyzer® 8000 machine and possesses a DOT permit to operate the Intoxilyzer® 8000. He is the author Understanding DUI Scientific Evidence, 1st and 2nd editions, Mississippi DUI: Law & Practice, and the Mississippi Criminal Trial Practice Forms manual, part of Thomson West's "Mississippi Practice Series." Additionally, The DUI Book: Mississippi Edition, written by Victor Carmody and co-authored with Atlanta attorney William C. Head, is in the process of publication. Vic is the attorney who wrote the books on DUI defense in Mississippi! Vic Carmody has handled and tried DUI cases in 8 States and has presented DUI seminars in 15 states and 4 foreign countries. Mr. Carmody is considered by many as the best DUI attorney in the state. He was recently selected as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Mississippi by The American Trial Lawyers Association. Vic currently serves as DUI chairman for continuing education seminars for the University of Mississippi. He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, and he was recently selected as a Super Lawyer in DUI and criminal defense by the prestigious Super Lawyers organization. Vic is admitted to practice in all state courts in Mississippi, the United States District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Missisisppi, and the Supreme Court of the United States. Come see us in Flowood, at 781 Liberty Road, across from the Atmos Energy building.


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