Iowa Court to Mull Margin of Error for Breath Test

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By Ellen Kurt

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court will decide whether it was appropriate for regulators to suspend the license of a trucker whose blood-alcohol concentration was barely over the limit for operating commercial vehicles.

The court said Wednesday it would review the case of Brandon Dean Watson, who lost his license for one year after police said a breath test showed he had a .041 blood-alcohol concentration during a 2010 traffic stop. The limit for truckers is .04.

Watson argued the Iowa Department of Transportation should not have suspended his license because of the test's margin of error, which is .004. That means his concentration could have been below the limit.

An appeals court rejected Watson's argument, saying the law setting the alcohol limit for truckers doesn't mention the margin of error.
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