by | last updated on January 19, 2016
Intoxilyzer malfunctions could jeopardize a DUI case against a suspected impaired driver. The Intoxilyzer uses a person’s breath sample to determine impairment levels based on breath alcohol content (BAC). Anything over the legal limit of 0.08 is considered driving under the influence, which can lead to getting arrest for criminal charges, DUI penalties, and permanent conviction on your record.However, if a malfunction leads to false results, a DUI attorney in Fort Lauderdale can challenge the charges in a DUI case. The following three malfunctions may be examined.

Intoxilyzer Malfunctions: Faulty Calibration

Improper calibration is a huge issue. An Intoxilyzer that is not calibrated regularly can result in inaccurate BAC measurements – and are often not to the driver’s advantage. According to a 2010 Washington Post article, in the Washington, D.C. area between 2008 and 2010, nearly 400 people were inaccurately convicted of drunk driving. The breath testing machines were not calibrated properly, because the officer responsible for maintaining and calibrating the machines was using an incorrect baseline. This resulted in BACs up to 20 percent higher than they actually were.

Fortunately, many states now require that police officers are trained in calibrating and maintaining the machines so that instances of faulty calibration become less common. A DUI attorney in Fort Lauderdale handling a DUI case can work with experts and evaluate whether calibration error may have thrown off the results of a chemical breath test.

Intoxilyzer Malfunctions: Interference with Machine Measurements

There are some external factors that can affect Intoxilyzer results. For example, those who are diabetic may have higher than average acetone levels in their body. Acetone can often be mistaken for the ethyl alcohol found in beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages, resulting in higher BAC readings.

Environmental substances can also lead to high BrAC results. These substances include gasoline, paint thinner, and lacquer. Older breathalyzer machines often cannot differentiate between these substances and ethyl alcohol, resulting in false positive results. If an individual is diabetic or believes other substances may have interfered with test results, a DUI attorney in Fort Lauderdale may work on evaluating the impact that this may have had on the test results and undermind the reliability of the Intoxilyzer.

Intoxilyzer Malfunctions: Operator Error

Human beings are prone to error; it’s just in our nature. Even though using the Intoxilyzer is mostly an automated process, it still requires that certain procedures be followed in a precise manner. An officer mislabeling a sample, mistyping a serial number, or failing to change the mouthpiece can all lead to results that are deemed inaccurate and unable to be used in a DUI case.

Consultation with a DUI Attorney in Fort Lauderdale

Any type of DUI testing is susceptible to error. Intoxilyzer tests are no exception. A malfunction can overestimate someone’s BAC to be higher than it actually is, resulting in unnecessary criminal punishment. Robert Malove is a DUI attorney in Fort Lauderdale who can help those accused of drinking and driving understand and exercise their legal rights.

People facing DUI charges have lots of questions.  Before you hire any attorney to represent you, download a FREE copy of my comsumer guide – How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Florida or call me to set up a consultation to discuss whether Intoxilyzer malfunction may be a factor in your DUI case.