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Florida Supreme Court Could Make DUI Breathalyzers Inadmissible

If a breathalyzer test pops you at a BAC of 0.15 or higher, you could face jail time. But machines used by Florida police may be faulty.

The already embattled Intoxilyzer 8000 is back in court and the outcome could render thousands of DUI breathalyzer tests in Florida inadmissible, say DUI defense attorneys with Gainesville’s Law Offices of Edwards & Jones Criminal Defense.

At question is the Intoxilyzer 8000′s software, which some say is faulty and provides inaccurate readings. Most recently, a Dauphin County, Pennsylvania judge ruled that the breathalyzer machines, manufactured by Kentucky-based CMI, Inc., could not be considered accurate for any blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.15 percent. Judge Lawrence Clark, Jr. noted that he found the calibration of the machines “extremely questionable.”

This same breathalyzer machine was the only one certified in the state of Florida for testing of suspected intoxicated individuals’ BAC levels when three defendants charged with drunk driving in Seminole County were arrested, and the only one whose results are admissible in court. Now, those defendants are appealing a ruling that kept software data from being analyzed and released.

Numerous DUI prosecutions have been dismissed and convictions reversed based upon the questions about the reliability of the Intoxilyzer 8000. If the Florida Supreme Court shares those questions, it could have a tremendous effect on past and current DUI cases.

If you’re arrested for DUI and a breathalyzer pops you at a BAC greater than 0.15, you could face up to 270 days in jail, more than $1,000 in fines and a required installation of an ignition interlock on your vehicle for up to six months. Gainesville DUI defense attorneys advise clients not to take either the field sobriety exercises or the breathalyzer test if pulled over on suspicion of impaired driving. But even if you did take the tests, the results can be challenged for technical reasons. And the questions surrounding the Intoxilyzer’s reliability may help boost your case.

If you face DUI charges, you’ve got just 10 days to request a hearing with the DMV before your driver’s license is automatically suspended, making it difficult or even impossible for you to make a living or go about daily activities important in your life. Call (352) 329-3632 and talk with a Law Offices of Edwards & Jones DUI defense lawyer immediately.