Hernando County agency inspector Frances M. Greifenberger, who was in charge of maintaining the DUI breath testing instruments for the sheriff’s office resigned after security breaches occurred at the Jail facility. Greifenberger was responsible for conducting monthly inspections and certifying the instruments were in compliance so the test results could be used in evidence in all Hernando County DUI cases. However, the rules require that in order to be in compliance, these instruments must be kept in a clean, dry and secured location and only allow authorized personnel access. Florida Administrative Code, Rule 11D-8.007(1)-(2) states, “Evidentiary breath test instruments shall only be accessible to a person issued a valid permit by the Department and to persons authorized by a permit holder…(2) The instrument will be located in a secured environment which limits access to authorized persons described in subsection (1), and will be kept clean and dry.” Reportedly Greifenberger resigned because she was no longer able to certify the breath testing instruments at the jail facility were in compliance with the rules. For further details see the article in the St. Petersburg Times,50 Hernando DUI cases could be in jeopardy due to security breach.
Greifenberger stated in deposition that these security breaches only took place after the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office assumed control of the jail facility in August 2010, but it is unclear how long she was aware of the security breaches before resigning.
Similar issues have occurred in other Florida jurisdictions involving how these breath test instruments are maintained and what really occurs behind closed doors. In Hillsborough County, expert witness Stephen Daniels has reviewed hundreds of hours of video footage and uncovered many instances where law enforcement personnel violated the rules on maintenance, failure to observe defendants for the required 20 minutes before a breath sample is provided and allegations of police misconduct. See the video DUI Undo Consultants.
In response to the security breaches, the Hernando County State Attorney’s Office sent out a Brady Notice to all defendants charged with DUI and explained how these security breaches may affect the breath test results from being used in any pending DUI cases. If you have more questions about your Hernando County DUI case, contact the Mastrogiovanni Law Firm to answer any questions.