Heraldtribune.com reported on September 20, 2009, that two top experts have declared the DUI Breath testing device known as the Intoxilyzer 5000 scientifically unreliable in Florida. Florida law only required the Intoxilyzer 5000 to be checked for calibration for DUI breath tests once a month. The new DUI breath testing machine used by Florida, the Intoxilyzer 8000-an updated version of the 5000 model, runs calibration checks or control runs before and after each breath test submitted by persons arrested for DUI. The Intoxilyzer 8000 rejects an average of about 70 DUI alcohol breath tests a month. This means at least as many Intoxilyzer 5000 test results are invalid every month but are still relied upon as evidence to convict in courts in the State of Georgia.
These Florida experts testified that the currently accepted scientific practice is that a DUI breath test calibration test or a control test must be run during each DUI Alcohol Breath test to ensure scientifically accurate results. Scientists used to believe that running calibration tests once a month on DUI breath testing devices was good enough but that opinion has changed over the past few years. Prosecutors responded by stating that just because it is not scientifically reliable doesn’t mean it’s not accurate. As a result, hundreds of cases have been either dismissed or reduced.
Georgia, as reflected by its 2002 Public High School Graduation rate of 49 out of 50 states, has not gotten the memo. It is not clear whether the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, saddled with the responsibility of certifying breath testing devices, is apathetic or simply ignorant. Georgia still uses the Intoxilyzer 5000. Georgia calibrates the Intoxilyzer 5000 once a quarter or every 3 months or so. Florida began replacing the Intoxilyzer 5000 with the Intoxilyzer 8000 in 2002. Georgia legal authority still stubbornly refuses to provide DUI defendants with the statutorily required Full Information regarding the obsolete Intoxilyzer 5000 by performing remarkable feats of linguistic gymnastics to obfuscate the clear and simple language “full information concerning the test or tests shall be made available…” The very same full information has allowed the truth to come to light in Florida. Georgia continues to backslide into the dark ages of scientific evidence applying a stricter standard of evidence, the Daubert standard, in civil cases than in criminal cases. Apparently, protecting cigarette manufacturers is more important than those that are presumed innocent but accused of crimes. There is a war going on in your mind. If you are thinking, you are winning.