Earlier this week, the Maryland Court of Appeals agreed to hear the case of Dejarnette v. State. In Dejarnette, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals held that a violation of the requirement that officers observe a defendant for 20 minutes before a breath test would only go to the weight to be given to the violation, as opposed to its exclusion. Dejarnette, represented by the Public Defender’s office, filed a petition for a writ of certiorari, asking the Court of Appeals to take the case. Dejarnette was joined by the National College for DUI Defense and the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys’ Association, who filed an amicus brief in support of the petition, written by Leonard R. Stamm and others.
Dejarnette will be arguing that a violation of the 20 minutes observational requirement should result in the exclusion of the breath test from evidence, as the 20 minute requirement is an essential component of an accurate and reliable breath test.