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Breathalyzer Device Under Investigation After Florida Ruling

A panel of Florida judges recently ruled in favor of criminal defense attorney in allowing legal professionals greater access to the software of a popular police DUI tool, the Intoxilyzer 8000. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the ruling came after attorneys argued that greater access was needed to investigate the accuracy of the tool.

The panel noted “significant and continued anomalies” in breath tests measured by the tool, which became a standard DUI device used by police officers in March 2006. The tool is used to measure the blood alcohol level of drivers who are suspected of driving while intoxicated. Since its inception, however, it has been the subject of great debate and continued litigation.

To prove that the tool was not an accurate measuring tool, defense attorneys have long argued for access to the Intoxilyzer 8000’s software and source code to determine how it functions. Its manufacturer, however, has refused to release this information, noting that it is a company trade secret and would compromise the competitiveness of its brand.

Because of some strange results that the device has measured, including high BAC levels that were not humanly possible, judges acknowledged that the tool could have programming problems. The panel noted, specifically, that it “mostly working” is not good enough and that, when an individual’s liberty is at stake, the device had to be without defect.

Breathalyzer tests and other devices used to measure blood alcohol content are not 100 percent accurate, and occasionally these devices malfunction and give false positives to intoxication tests. Arrests that are premised entirely on the results of one of these devices may be controversial, and defendants are sometimes able to successfully argue that this arrest was invalid as a result of the testing device.

To learn more about your legal options, consult a skilled Orlando DUI defense attorney with Law Offices of Salazar & Kelly right away.

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