Florida Judges Vaildate Results from DUI Breath Test Machine

A panel of Florida Appeals Court judges ruled that breath test results from an Intoxilyzer 8000 are accurate enough to be used as evidence in a drunk driving case. As a result, motorists charged with Florida DUI cannot cite the suspected faulty equipment as a reason for challenging their conviction.

The case was raised by Palm Beach DUI defense attorneys after a computer software glitch was discovered in 2006 that resulted in 224 Florida DUI cases being dismissed across the state. The attorneys argued that the software problem warranted the invalidation of breath test results taken from Palm Beach County motorists since the county started use of the Intoxilyzer 8000. If the judges had ruled in favor of the defense attorneys, thousands of DUI cases could have been dismissed in Palm Beach County alone. The Intoxilyzer 8000 is used in every county in Florida.

While acknowledging that a programming error had been detected and corrected, the judge’s wrote that, “the Intoxilyzer 8000 functioned in substantial compliance with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Rules,” and that the defendants did not show that the software issue had directly affected the results of their breath tests.

According to Pasco County Florida DUI Attorney Jason Melton, the degree of accuracy of the Intoxilyzer 8000 remains a question, and he says it will continue to be a DUI defense issue during jury trials.

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