Florida’s DUI Refusals: FDLE Covers Up Faulty Intoxilyzer 8000 Breathalyzers

What happens when you attempt to submit to the DUI breath test in Florida and the breath test operator tells you that you were not breathing hard enough? The arresting officer will count that as a “refusal.” The allegation that you refused to take the breath test carries with it additional penalties including a one year administrative suspension of your driver’s license.

For a second refusal in Florida the driver faces a 18 month suspension with no chance of obtaining a hardship or business purpose only driver’s license. The prosecutor in the criminal portion of the DUI case can also argue that the fact that you refused is evidence that you knew you would blow over the legal limit (often called the “guilty conscience” argument).

FDLE Covers Up Problems with Florida’s Intoxilyzer 8000 Flow Sensor

Despite these harsh consequences, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) attempted to cover up evidence that a faulty Intoxilyzer 8000 caused many of those DUI refusals. Problems with the flow sensor mean that no matter how hard the subject blows the instrument does not properly calculating the amount of air being blown into the instrument.

A sufficient sample requires that the instrument determines that 1.1 litters of air was blown into the instrument. However, if the flow sensor doesn’t work properly then many people may be accused of refusing when they did provide a sufficient sample and could have blow under the legal limit had the instrument been working properly.

FDLE “Flow Calibrations” Confirm the Extent of the Problems

When FDLE realized the extent of the problem not only did they cover up the truth, but they attempted to drag out revealing the problem for as long as possible. FDLE’s Intoxilyzer 8000 Departmental Inspectors were instructed to stop writing down the R-factor or R-value of the instrument and instead to keep secret spread sheets. More than two years later when the extent of the problems forced FDLE to take more corrective actions, it was discovered that most of the instruments were not able to accurately estimate flow or volume. FDLE then used some secret process to “recalibrate” the instruments and the problems became worse.

Solid Evidence Now Shows Florida’s Intoxilyzer 8000 Not Accurate or Reliable

Even more problematic, if the Intozilyzer 8000 breathalyzer can not properly calculate the flow or sample duration, then the other readings from the instrument can not be trusted as accurate and reliable including the breath alcohol concentration reading (often called the BrAC). Read more about defending the DUI breath test refusal in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL.


  1. Dan
    Posted December 12, 2013 at 01:12 | Permalink | Reply

    If affected by this particular unit type, get an attorney and have the case appealed on “new” evidence. The Court should be forced to retry all the affected cases, or dismiss the charges entirely.

  2. Dan
    Posted December 12, 2013 at 01:14 | Permalink | Reply

    Tampering with evidence is a FELONY in Florida.

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