I am often asked, “should I take the intoxilyzer test.” There is no easy yes or no answer to this question. If you take the test, you are providing evidence to the government that is difficult to dispute. If you don’t take the test, you are looking at a possible 18 months suspension (or more if you have prior DUI incidents) of your driving privileges and the imposition of an ignition interlock device to be placed in your car for three years.
If there was absolutely no alcohol in my body, then yes, I would take the test. If you have been consuming alcohol, you have to weigh your options. Do not believe that you are below the legal limit just because you have not consumed much alcohol. Too many clients tell me, “honestly, I didn’t think I would be that high.” Do not assume you can beat the test. I own an intoxilyzer 5000en. I can get high results from breath sprays, mouth wash, and even bread. The machine is a conviction box and in my opinion is not an accurate means of measuring alcohol in your body. It is an indirect measurement of what is in your blood. The machine makes assumptions that all people have the same blood to breath ratio. The machine makes the assumption that everyone’s body temperature is the same. As an attorney, it is much easier to defend you when you have refused to blow into the machine.
Personally, I would rather have a suspended driver’s license and the other restrictions, than to have a conviction on my record. Even if you do decide you are going to take the test, you could still have many of the exact same restrictions. If your breath test is .16 or above, the Court is most likely going to impose the ignition interlock device. Sometimes judges impose the device regardless of your result.
If you are a drinker, make your decision now whether you want to take the test. Don’t be the person that says, “I will never get pulled over.” I have had clients educate themselves and realize that these machines are not reliable and accurate. Utah only requires the officer to take one breath sample when testing you. Many other states require two samples that must agree within a certain percent. It’s like my father always said, “measure twice, cut once.” The Utah breath test program is archaic and out of date according to the experts. The leading experts, nationally and worldwide, all agree that at least two breath tests are required when dealing a DUI. In Utah, the officer’s agenda is to put a citizen through field sobriety tests and then get the answer wanted from the machine without any question.
Make your decision before it happens. Question the officer about his machine and his agenda. Ask him, “if I blow below the limit, are you going to let me go?” “Can you give me a more accurate blood test instead?” Tell the officer you do not trust the machine.