Since a charge of driving under the influence carries harsh penalties and can have severely negative consequences on a person’s life, it would be reasonable to expect that law enforcement would use only accurate machines.
Unfortunately, police departments often use inaccurate machines to test the breath alcohol level of suspects. One of the standard breath alcohol testing machines in Ohio is called the “Intoxilyzer 8000”. The Ohio Department of Health bought 700 machines and distributing them to law enforcement agencies in 2009. Since then, countless legal challenges have been launched and the machines have come under intense scrutiny.
A critic of the 8000 has explained some flaws with this machine;
The test can be manipulated by the officer administering the test, particularly with regard to the instructions he or she gives to a suspect.
The alcohol content reading is higher the longer a person blows into the machine.
Warmer breath means a higher breath alcohol content reading
The State appears reluctant to have an expert testify regarding the machine. Instead, they rely on court precedent that states a defendant cannot challenge the reliability of machine once it has been approved. Since the 8000 has been approved by the Department of Health, it is nearly impossible to challenge. On occasions where the 8000’s accuracy is challenged, some prosecutors have reduced charges to a reckless operation plea.
The Ohio Department of Health defends the 8000 by explaining that there have been a small number of tests ¾ 1,079 ¾ invalidated since the machine went into use. While 1,079 may only represent a small percent of the total tests performed, such inaccuracies must be taken seriously, since they threaten to ruin lives.
Posted in Criminal Defense
Tagged criminal defense attorney, DUI, DUI testing, ohio criminal defense lawyer