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DUI with a Breath Test on Florida's Intoxilyzer 8000

DUI with a Breath Test on Florida's Intoxilyzer 8000

Florida uses the Intoxilyzer 8000 to analyze a breath sample after a driver is arrested for DUI. The test is used to determine a person's blood alcohol content. In Florida, drivers are considered under the influence if their BAC is more than 0.08.

Many people think if they blew more than the legal limit into the Intoxilyzer 8000, there would be no defense in their situation. However, depending on the particular facts and circumstances of your case, there may be important ways to challenge the DUI-related charge based on the results of the chemical test.

Attorney for the DUI Breath Test in Tallahassee, FL

If you agreed to submit to the breath test on the Intoxilyzer 8000 and blew more than the legal limit of 0.08, contact an experienced DUI breath test attorney at Pumphrey Law. The attorneys at Pumphrey Law have extensive experience fighting to exclude the breath test evidence at trial.

Attorney Don Pumphrey is a member of the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) and has attended numerous seminars devoted specifically to fighting the Intoxilyzer 8000, the only evidentiary breath test instrument used in Florida. Attorney Aaron Wayt has attended courses to study the device and has received hands-on training concerning the operation of the machine. 

Pumphrey Law has years of experience helping clients facing a variety of DUI charges, and our attorneys will treat your case with the utmost importance. Our attorneys understand the problems with Florida's Intoxilyzer 8000 and how to use these problems with the breathalyzer to help you win your case. 

The attorneys represents clients throughout Tallahassee and the surrounding areas throughout Florida's Second Judicial Circuit, including Crawfordville in Wakulla County, Bristol in Liberty County, Quincy in Gadsden County and Monticello in Jefferson County.

Call (850) 681-7777 to schedule a free case consultation.

Intoxilyzer 8000 Information Center

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History of the Intoxilyzer 8000 and the Florida Software

The Intoxilyzer 8000 utilizes a computer program, versions of which range from 8100.08 to 8100.27, to produce a breath alcohol level. Currently, the Intoxilyzer 8000 machines are using the software version 8100.27, although no independent testing of any version of the software has even been allowed.

All of the alleged "fail-safe" procedures, supposedly designed to flag malfunctions of the Intoxilyzer 8000 machine, are contained in and performed by the computer program within the machine. For most of these "fail-safe" procedures, what thresholds are required to trigger the "fail safe" flags are unknown. Additionally, the machine is programmed only to show one "fail safe" flag. The priority used to determine which "fail safe" flag is shown is not known even to the FDLE.

Without the computer program, the Intoxilyzer 8000 will not operate. The FDLE has stated it approved software versions 8100.09 and 8100.10 in the 2002 version of FDLE Rule 11D-8.003. Since that purported approval of the Intoxilyzer 8000 there has been up to 17 subsequent revisions to the software, one of which is software version that currently is used.

FDLE has admitted in correspondence dated Oct. 5, 2006, that software flaws have been discovered and the Intoxilyzer 8000 machine reported unscientifically reliable data as scientifically reliable. These flaws are based on the machine's ability or inability to measure the breath volume on any individual test.

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Problems with Breath Volume

The Intoxilyzer 8000 is not designed to measure the accuracy of the breath volume when simulators are used to test the accuracy of the machine. This means department inspections, agency inspections and registration inspections under FDLE Rules 11D- 8.003, 11D-8.004 and 11D-8.006 may not properly test the accuracy of results obtained on actual human breath samples.

The FDLE Departmental Inspector has admitted the department has made no attempt by use of independent instrumentation to determine the accuracy of the volume provided on any individual breath test administered to live human individuals.

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Surprising Facts about the Intoxilyzer 8000

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Legal Challenges to the Breath Test

In many DUI cases involving a breath test reading over the legal limit of 0.08, important challenges can be raised prior to trial to try to exclude any mention of the breath test result at trial. This area of the law is in a constant state of flux as new legal challenges are brought up frequently.

As new problems are discovered with the Intoxilyzer 8000, the success of these challenges also changes over time. The most common of these challenges include:

The Formal Review Hearing after a DUI Arrest with a Breath Test Reading over .08

Under Florida law, upon a timely request for formal review by the driver subject to a license suspension, DHSMV is tasked with conducting a formal administrative review of the license suspension. Fla. Admin. Code R. 15A-6013 (2011). These hearings are presided over by a hearing officer, who is tasked with the responsibility of “determin[ing] whether the suspension . . . is supported by a preponderance of the evidence.” Fla. Admin. Code R. 15A-6013 (2011); see also § 322.2615(7), Fla. Stat. (2011).

If the driver's license was suspended as a result of a breath-alcohol test indicating the driver was impaired, the scope of the hearing officer's review is limited to determining:

  1. Whether the initial stop of the vehicle and detention of the driver was legal;
  2. Whether the law enforcement officer had probable cause to believe that the person whose license was suspended was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle in the state while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or chemical or controlled substances.
  3. Whether the person whose license was suspended had an unlawful . . . breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher as provided in s. 316.193.

§ 322.2615(7)(a). DHSMV is only required to establish an unlawful breath-alcohol level by a preponderance of the evidence.

For a breath-alcohol affidavit to be admissible at the hearing, DHSMV must establish:

  1. that the breath test was performed substantially in accordance with the methods approved by FDLE, with an approved device by a qualified technician; and
  2. that the device has been inspected in accordance with FDLE rules to assure its accuracy.

State v. Donaldson, 579 So. 2d 728, 729 (Fla. 1991); Dep't of High. Saf. & Motor Veh. v. Berne, 49 So. 3d 779, 782 (Fla. 5th DCA 2010); see also § 316.1932(1)(b)(2), Fla. Stat. (2011). Once admitted, the affidavit “is presumptive proof of the results of an authorized test to determine

Once admitted, the affidavit “is presumptive proof of the results of an authorized test to determine alcohol content of the blood or breath.” § 316.1934(5), Fla. Stat.; see also § 316.1934(2)(c) (providing that a test result of 0.08 or higher is “prima facie evidence” that the person was impaired).

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Finding a DUI Defense Attorney for the Intoxilyzer 8000 Breath Test Machine

After taking the breath test and blowing more than the legal limit, seek the services of a criminal defense attorney at Pumphrey Law. Challenging the Intoxilyzer 8000 requires the knowledge necessary to understand the machine and its limitations. Our attorneys are experienced in fighting these types of cases.

Call (850) 681-7777 to schedule a free consultation.

This article was last updated on Friday, March 17, 2017.

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