Thousands of Arizona DUI Cases May Be Dismissed Because of the Intoxilyzer 8000

Intoxilyzer 8000CMI, the manufacturer of the Intoxilyzer 8000, is facing a challenge over the reliability of its equipment that could impact thousands of cases of drunk driving in the Tucson area. The breath test equipment is one of the alcohol detectors used by law enforcement agencies in the state. Arizona DUI defense attorneys have asked for the equipment’s source code on behalf over a number of defendants with cases pending before the Pima County Superior Court.

Twelve years ago a similar challenge to another breath testing machine lead to the dismissal of approximately 5,000 cases of drunk driving in Tucson over several months. The Intoxilyzer 8000 offers a portable piece of equipment to test blood alcohol content of motorists suspected of drunk driving. The Intoxilyzer 8000 is used by most law enforcement agencies in Arizona, as well as seven other states and three government agencies.

The source code used in the Intoxilyzer 8000 has come under challenge from several states. The code is changed for each state to reflect local liquor laws and equipment specifications. Since being implemented in Arizona, the approved version of the equipment’s code has been changed multiple times. It is feared that errors and code-based assumptions made by the computer could lead to inaccurate BAC readings and thus false charges of DUI. Even CMI has testified that that there are problems with the latest software version. CMI has been ordered buy several courts across the United States to provide the source code of its equipment, but has refused. The company has accumulated more than $1 million in fines in Florida alone for refusing to cooperate with a court order.

Prosecutors defend the equipment, with one Pima County official stating that the software has been tested by the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the federal government

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