Florida Breathalyzer Test (Breath Test)
Law enforcement in Florida use a machine called the Intoxilyzer 8000 to test breath samples from suspected drunk drivers. The machine often produces inaccurate results that can be detrimental to your case. Understanding how the machine works and hiring qualified legal counsel to represent you are two important steps to take in fighting your charge.
The Intoxilyzer 8000 functions by using two breath samples to measure a person’s blood alcohol content, or BAC. The breath sample passes through a chamber in the machine that emits infrared light. Any alcohol molecules that are present in the breath will absorb a particular amount of infrared light, which will be detected in the machine. The Intoxilyzer 8000 calculates blood alcohol content by measuring the amount of light that was sent against the light that was received at the end of the chamber. If that number is at or above the legal limit of 0.08%, you will be arrested and charged with driving under the influence.
Are the Results Accurate?
Although the Intoxilyzer 8000 is an expensive and relatively sophisticated piece of machinery that is used by law enforcement all over the state, its results are far from infallible. There are a number of factors that could cause the results of your test to be inaccurately inflated. If the machine has not been properly maintained or calibrated, your results will be inaccurate. Medical conditions, such as diabetes or acid reflux, that cause increased levels of alcohol in a person’s mouth are problematic as the Intoxilyzer is unable to differentiate between mouth alcohol and the deep lung alcohol that would give an accurate BAC reading. Finally, if your breath test is administered by an officer who is not properly trained or who does not follow proper protocol, your results will likely be inaccurate.
If you have been charged with a DUI based on the results of a breath test, working with a DUI defense attorney who knows how the Intoxilyzer 8000 works and the issues surrounding its functionality is imperative.