Sunday, February 05, 2012


A recent investigation by the Herald Tribune shows that Florida's breath testing device of choice, the Intoxilyzer 8000, is flawed and the newspaper argues that the State of Florida should no longer use the machine, your Clearwater DUI Defense Attorney wholeheartedly agrees for the following reasons:

The Herald Tribune notes that, "For years, drivers across Florida have been arrested and convicted of DUI charges based on flawed alcohol breath test machines that reported impossible results." and that "... 40% of the Intoxilyzer 8000s tested by the state this year were found to be incorrectly measuring breath volumes. Volumes of 10 to 15 liters of breath were recorded," despite the troubling fact that normal human lung capacity is at most about five liters. (see article on the flawed breath test machines).

After the company refused to disclose the source code which contains the data on how the machine functions, despite Court orders to do so, the State Attorney's Office in the 12th Judicial Circuit of Florida should be commended for making the right decision: to no longer use the results of the Intoxilyzer 8000 in the prosecution of pending DUI cases, even as FDLE (FDLE Intoxilyzer 8000 Records) scrambled to correct problems that have been known to exist at least since 2006 - problems which law enforcement incorrectly claimed did not exist. The Pinellas County State Attorney's Office in Clearwater as well as the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office in Tampa should be courageous and also refuse to allow results from a machine that gives inaccurate, misleading results, especially since other credible evidence such as bad driving, video, field sobriety tests, and the officer's personal opinion as to the state of the driver's sobriety are admissible in evidence in a DUI trial. If you have questions concerning a pending DUI check out the material provided at Clearwater DUI Defense Answers or for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles DUI Suspension Laws.

316.193 Driving under the influence; penalties.for complete statute
(1) A person is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence and is subject to punishment as provided in subsection (2) if the person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state and:
(a) The person is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in s. 877.111, or any substance controlled under chapter 893, when affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired;

(b) The person has a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood; or

(c) The person has a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

One too many is plenty too much...
Vincent Van Gogh Still Life with Absinthe 1887