Cincinnati's Assistant City Solicitor has told the city's police department to discontinue use of the Intoxilyzer 8000 breathalyzer device not because of the accuracy of the device, but because of the numerous defense motions filed against its results. The device's accuracy has been called into question in Ohio and other states and former prosecutor and current criminal defense attorney Mike Allen said the debate over the device is just beginning.
When a person is arrested on charges of driving under the influence or DUI, that person should question the accuracy of his or her breath test, as evidenced by the numerous and ongoing challenges concerning this particular device's accuracy. The device is undergoing so many challenges in courts in several states that police departments are discontinuing its use in order to avoid further challenges, said Mr. Allen.
When it comes to defending against drunk driving charges often the first point of contention is the results of a breathalyzer test, which are notoriously inaccurate. Either the machines malfunction or they are not used properly by the person who administers the tests. Another attorney said discontinuing the use of the Intoxilyer 8000 is a good idea because the various courts have different opinions on it use.
In fact, a Hamilton County judge has ruled against the device and the judges at the 12th circuit court of appeals have stated the results from the device should stand. Other issues surrounding the use of the device involve the system's calibrations. The Ohio Department of Health, which is charged with establishing the rules for the device's use, state the machines should be calibrated between two different breath tests, which does not happen.
DUI defense attorneys are arguing the improper use of the machine and questionable results mean a number of DUI cases may be thrown out. The matter could go all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court, said Mr. Allen. Cincinnati drivers should know however, that police are still planning on using the Intoxilzer 5000 along with field sobriety tests to enforce DUI laws. If you have been charged and or convicted of a DUI, you may want to consider whether or not the results of your breathalyzer test were valid.
Source: WXIX Fox 19, "Cincinnati Police suspend use of controversial breathalyzer," Gordon Graham, July 11, 2012