The Accuracy of a Popular DUI Device Used to Calculate BAC is Being Called Into Question

Filed under: DUI by Contributor @ July 1, 2012

The Intoxilyzer 8000, a machine commonly used in Pennsylvania to test for alcohol on a person’s breath, has been called into question after an attorney in Ohio noticed discrepancies in his client’s printed results.

For accuracy, the device requires police officer’s to take two samples. In between the samples, officers are suppose to take a control test, a procedure that resets the machine and helps to ensure that an accurate reading has occurred. Officers in Ohio rarely, if ever, performed this control test and as a result, an Ohio judge has thrown out the defendant’s case, and many more may follow.

“What we noticed was that there are two subject tests in every DUI investigation where there’s a breath test. This particular instance we made a motion to suppress the results because there is no dry gas control between subject test one and subject test 2 and that’s the same in every case across the State of Ohio,” Joe Suhre, the defendant’s attorney in the Ohio case was quoted as saying.

In Pennsylvania, the same device is used to test a driver’s blood alcohol content if they are suspected of driving under the influence. Instead of the dry gas control required in Ohio, Pennsylvania uses an “air blank” in between samples that resets the machine and acts as a control for the second sample that is taken from the suspect. DUI is normally charged in Pennsylvania if the result is as BAC of .08% or above.

The overall accuracy of this machine is also being called into question in a Florida court after the company that makes the Intoxilyzer 8000 modified the device, allegedly without informing the Department of Transportation of such modifications. In Pennsylvania this would invalidate the Department’s approval of the device.

There are many factors to consider when challenging a DUI arrest, so it is important to have an experienced Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer to help guide you through the process.

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