County Judges Challenge Use of Intoxilyzer in Florida DUI Arrests

Two Manatee County judges have issued an order stating that the Intoxilyzer 8000 does not meet state law requirements. The equipment is used by the county sheriff’s Office, as well as other law enforcement agencies across the state, when determining blood alcohol content of motorists suspected of driving under the influence in Florida. The order was issued after the state was unable to prove the micron band measurement used by the breath testing machine, thus establishing ‘compelling evidence’ that the machines are not the ones approved for use in the state.

State law requires equipment issued to law enforcement agencies be approved by the US Department of Transportation. Unauthorized changes in the equipment after the rigorous review process would void that approval. Florida DUI laws further stipulate that an officer can only request a breath test using approved equipment.

Florida DUI defense attorneys have long questioned both the authorization of the Intoxilyzer 8000 and its accuracy. The recent ruling gives them a stronger challenge in court.

Because of the court order, motorists stopped for suspicion of drunk driving in Manatee County Florida are not required to submit to a breath test. Testing can only be done on an approved machine. Previously, those refusing to submit to a breath test were subject to suspension of their driver

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