FDLE Hides “Numerical Results” of the DUI Breath Test Readings

Intoxilyzer 8000 - Cant Trust What You Cant Verify

The state of Florida buys a bunch of black boxes. The black boxes are sent to various law enforcement agencies throughout the state. After an arrest is made, the subject is asked to touch the black box. The black box then spits out a piece of paper that says whether the person arrested is “guilty” or “not guilty.”

Welcome to Florida’s DUI Alcohol Testing Program

Florida’s DUI Alcohol Testing Program intentionally hides information from criminal defense attorneys. As Ronald Regan was fond of saying, “Trust, but verify.” Unfortunately, criminal defense attorneys are not allowed to verify the results of Florida’s Intoxilyzer 8000 for the following reasons:

1. The breath sample is destroyed.

When the subject blows into the machine the breath sample is not preserved. The testing process destroys the sample. In other types of testing such as DNA testing, fingerprint testing, blood testing, or urine testing, the sample can be preserved so that the defense attorney can hire its own expert to test a sample to verify the results obtained by the state.

2. The software keeps changing.

It started with version 8 and is now on version 27. Many believe FDLE just stopped renumbering the new software versions after 8100.27 was introduced. Many of the software changes were introduced in order to fix various “glitches.” Some of those glitches were uncovered by criminal defense attorneys throughout the state, including Stuart Hyman in Orlando, FL. Criminal defense attorneys have no ability to uncover why the software changes are made or what new unintended problems are created with each new version of the software.

3. The machine doesn’t show its work.

The “numerical results” available after the test only provides the conclusion of the testing which is the volume of air measured by the flow sensor and the BrAC reading. Remember in high school when the teacher said you must show your work? Well, Florida’s version of the Intoxilyzer 8000 was intentionally designed so as not to “show the work.” Specifically we never get to see the calculation data points which would include: the flow rate, the sample duration, the alcohol slope graph, and the sample attempts. However, we do know that the machine is capable of reporting such data. In fact, other states preserve the sample duration and sample attempts reading for each breath test.

CMI intentionally designed the program so that each state could design how much exculpatory information get released to the criminal defense attorney. As CMI, Inc.’s Intoxilyzer 8000 brochure states:

SOFTWARE CONFIGURATION: various software settings may be configured by the instrument Manager through the keyboard [via a security password] / through an external PC using COBRA.

4. Criminal defense attorneys and their experts don’t get a machine.

Wouldn’t it be nice if criminal defense attorneys and their experts could try a few experiments. Let’s line up a group of people, provide them with a few drinks, then ask them to blow into the machine under a variety of circumstances. Let’s try the experiments with men vs. women, young vs. old, healthy vs. disabled. After each subject blows, lets also take a blood sample and have that sent off to the lab. Let’s see if the Intoxilyzer 8000 machines used in Florida are as as accurate as blood tests. Let’s find out how real problems in the field affect the accuracy and reliability of the machine. In fact, criminal defense attorneys don’t even get to look at the inside of the machine used on their client to see if any obvious hardware modifications have been made to that individual machine.

So when judges and prosecutors are asked to “trust the machine” they understand there is no ability to verify the results.

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