D. Scott Rieth Criminal Defense Attorney
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Breath test results are not always accurate

You probably know that if a law enforcement officer arrests you on suspicion of DUI in Florida, you must submit to a breath test, which will measure the blood alcohol content level in your body. Breath test devices are usually accurate, but problems do arise.

This kind of testing equipment has run into accuracy issues both in Florida and Ohio, while a different device problem cropped up in Pennsylvania.

Reliability questioned

Officers use a device known as the Intoxilyzer 8000 to administer many breath tests that accompany DUI arrests in Florida. This is an infrared analyzer that works by measuring the amount of infrared light contained in the ethyl alcohol present in a particular breath sample. A panel of Orange County judges found that there have been anomalous results, so the machine may not always be reliable. Police departments in Ohio also use the Intoxilyzer 8000, and similar problems with accuracy have been discovered there.

Time expired

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a different breath test issue arose in the summer of 2016. A private attorney informed the police department there that the calibrations on the breath test machines they were using had expired. The devices had to be removed from service immediately. Fresh solution, necessary for accurate blood alcohol content readings, replaced the expired solution in each device and the authorities were able to get the machines back online the same day. However, the expired solution in those devices meant that the test results for hundreds of DUI cases were in question and might not be admissible in court.

Relying on experience

A DUI arrest can be a very unsettling event, but if this should happen to you, take a deep breath and remember that the testing devices are not always accurate. Even if an investigation reveals that there are no flaws in your test, you can rely on an experienced criminal defense attorney whose goal is to ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome for your drunk driving case.

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D. Scott Rieth
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Bradenton, FL 34202

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