OP-Ed Takes Aim at Faulty Intoxilyzer Technology
A recent op-ed in the Daytona-Beach News Journal took aim at Florida’s Intoxilyzer technology. This technology is often presented as evidence in court against those who are charged with drunk driving. But is the Intoxilyzer based on scientific methodology or is it a load of hooey. The answer is complicated.
The technology is based on the assumption that the amount of alcohol on your breath can be translated into your blood alcohol concentration. Blood alcohol concentration can be used to determine if the driver has surpassed the legal limit. The only scientific way to measure blood alcohol concentration is by (unsurprisingly) testing the blood itself. Florida’s reliance on Intoxilyzer and other breath test technology does create a problem for prosecutors who are trying cases against savvy DUI attorneys.
The Case Against the Intoxilyzer
The major reason why the Intoxilyzer technology is garbage is that it cannot differentiate between a 350 lb. man and 98 lb woman. You would think that alone would be cause to dump the technology, but there is a lot of money in making false assumptions about drivers. Fines for DUI are hefty and that money is diverted into the coffers of local governments who can then use it for whatever they please. The problem with that, of course, is that it destroys lives in the process.
DUI is a serious crime in Florida. Automatic license suspensions are likely and you can serve jail time. If you kill or injure someone while under the influence, you can be looking at a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison or a statutory maximum of 15 years (plus the fines). Your insurance will likely skyrocket and for some people, this will mean that they never have access to a car again. It’s a serious crime that isn’t treated seriously by local law enforcement officials who use fake science to produce inflated results.
How do Breath Tests Work?
Breath tests measure the parts of alcohol per air. This number is then translated using a formula to deliver a theoretical BAC. However, the science this is based on only applies to closed (airtight) system. In other words, the science behind the breathalyzer is false.
That being said, this information when presented before a jury is often quite damning. Jurors are led (erroneously) to believe that the science is airtight when it’s not. DUI attorneys can mention this to jurors and even bring in expert witnesses to testify as to the scientific uncertainty of deriving BAC from a breath test and sometimes it works but other times, it doesn’t. And that’s a problem, especially if you’re the one on trial.
The fact that breath tests remain in service while scientifically viable solutions, like blood tests, aren’t being used is something that Florida police departments should look at.
Talk to an Orlando DUI Attorney Today
If you’ve been charged with DUI, don’t panic. Call the Florida DUI defense attorneys FL DUI Group today and let us defend you from the charges. We know what we’re doing.