Saturday, October 10, 2009

Intoxilyzer 5000 – can it be trusted?

Intoxilyzer 5000 – can it be trusted?

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a serious crime in Georgia. Would you want to be convicted of a DUI based upon a reading by a machine that other states legally declare as “unreliable”.

There are two types of DUIs related to alcohol. One involves being under the influence to the extent that you are a less safe driver. The other type is what is known as “per se” DUI. It requires a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher. Law enforcement in Georgia often relies upon a machine know as the Intoxilyzer 5000 to determine what a driver’s BAC level is. Florida has declared the Intoxilyzer 5000 unreliable based upon testimony from experts in the field.

The primary issue with the Intox 5000 is how the machine calibrates. The Intox 5000 is only checked once per month to insure the accuracy of its results. The currently accepted practice and recommended by most experts in the field requires that a control test be conducted prior to each actual test to insure that results are, in fact, accurate.

Moreover, in Florida, results from the Intox 5000 can no longer be introduced as evidence. However, Georgia still relies upon, and allows into evidence, Intox 5000 tests. If Florida doesn’t trust it, why does Georgia? Does Georgia have lower standards than Florida?

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