Intoxilzyer–can the way you breath affect the result?

The Courts in Florida are recognizing the fact that the breath test machines are not as accurate as everyone wants you to believe.  In fact, the way you breath, or how long you breath into the machine, can determine a high or a low test.  The machine only requires 1.1 liter of breath to qualify to give a result.  So what happens if the person puts 2 liters, or 3 liters of breath into the machine.  It makes sense that your result will double and triple.  This is not uncommon.   

The judge in Florida stated, "Rules that permit a test operator to have the subject blow into the machine as long as he, in his undirected discretion wishes … is insufficient to create a scientifically reliable test."

Breath-test evidence thrown out in DUI cases
By Jeff Burlew
Democrat staff writer Print Email to a friend Subscribe

A Leon County judge’s ruling to throw out blood-alcohol breath-test results in four DUI cases could have a big impact on others currently facing drinking-and-driving charges.

On Tuesday, Judge Augustus D. Aikens Jr. ordered that breath tests be thrown out in DUI cases involving four men arrested in 2006. Their breath samples showed blood-alcohol readings above Florida’s legal limit of 0.08.

"At this point, it will potentially stop the prosecution of every DUI case in Leon County that has a breath-test result," said Tallahassee defense attorney Lee Meadows, who is representing the men.

Meanwhile, State Attorney Willie Meggs said the ruling likely will be appealed.

In his ruling, Aikens found that breath-test results can vary depending on how long someone breathes into the device, called an Intoxilyzer 8000.

Aikens agreed with an earlier Bay County circuit-court ruling, which said, "Rules that permit a test operator to have the subject blow into the machine as long as he, in his undirected discretion wishes … is insufficient to create a scientifically reliable test."

Meadows plans to file motions today seeking to adopt the ruling for 30-35 other clients he’s representing. He said he expects other local lawyers to do the same thing.

Meggs said he hadn’t seen the ruling, but he said it sounded "odd." He said the State Attorney’s Office is appealing a number of other rulings by Aikens. Meggs defended the use of the Intoxilyzer.

"We’ve got the newest and best technology out there to determine a person’s blood-alcohol content," Meggs said. "It’s been approved by FDLE and used all over the country."

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