The Case of the Bad Breath Machine
If the State does not prove intoxication, there is no DUI conviction. Recently, we at DUI2Go encountered a tough case where the driver had blown into an Intoxilyzer 8000 breath machine and exceeded the legal limit in Florida of .08. Fortunately, our office has access to the logs of all breath test given by all machines in Florida and the maintenance records of these machines. As a result, we are sharing some of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Intoxilyzer 8000 files. This is the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Alcohol Testing Program Intoxilyzer 8000 Operational Procedures also known as Form 37. In addition, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement also uses Form 38 Breath Alcohol Test Affidavit. Finally, there is some great information in the Alcohol Testing Program Intoxilyzer® 8000 Reference Guide.
The Accuracy of Intoxilyzer 8000 in Court
Before 2014, often the state did not present scientific evidence of the machine’s accuracy. Recently, a Florida Driving Under the Influence court ruled in State v. Garcia, (20th Cir Aug 20, 2014) that the State Attorney must establish the admission of an Intoxilyzer Breath Test result. Prosecutors must use the traditional scientific predicate to introduce breath test results from Intoxilyzer 8000 in a trial. The court ruled that it could not determine whether the modified Intoxilyzer 8000 used in Florida was same machine/instrument approved by NHTSA ( National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ) for use in Florida.
Sometimes we uncover broken Intoxilyzer 8000 breath machines. We reviewed this official FDLE Form 41 Department Inspection Report records of this machine. The machine had not passed the post-inspection Diagnostic Check. The instrument does not comply with Florida Administrative Code Chapter 11D-8. In addition, after failing its monthly inspection there was no evidence of repairing the machine. Notably, the machine returned to service without any repair record.
No Proof, No DUI Conviction
When the Intoxilyzer 8000 has not been maintained, the results may be thrown out. Without that evidence, it is difficult for the state to prove your guilt. Sometimes the state will offer a reduced charge of reckless driving does not carry the risk associated with a DUI conviction. If you have another DUI conviction later, your prior convictions enhance your penalties. Your conviction penalties may include; fines, ignition interlock device, license suspension or revocation and jail or prison. Multiple DUIs can carry mandatory jail time. Once a driver has three or more DUI convictions, it becomes a felony.