Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Faulty Breathalyzer Machines Result in Inadmissible Evidence in Florida DUI Cases

St. Petersburg Criminal Attorney and Former State Prosecutor Melinda Morris of the Morris Law Firm discusses how faulty breath tests in Florida can affect a DUI conviction.


Issue:

The evidence from DUI breath tests, or breathalyzer machines, throughout Manatee and Sarasota counties in Florida has been called into question lately, as local authorities have recently discovered the machines are not being maintained and calibrated properly.

Many drivers throughout Manatee and Sarasota counties in Florida were arrested and convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) based on the results of these faulty breath test machines, which were not recording proper breath levels.

Five different DUI Intoxilyzer 8000 machines were not calibrated, and therefore, not working properly when they were used to ascertain the breath alcohol concentration (BAC) level of around 100 individuals pulled over on suspicion of drinking and driving in Florida over a period of time dating back to 2007.




Why This Matters To You:

If you were charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Sarasota County or Manatee County in the past few years and convicted of the offense based on the results of a breath alcohol test, there is a chance your case will be overturned if the prosecutor had no other concrete evidence to maintain the conviction.

The Florida State Attorney’s Office is currently notifying the defendants who were tested on the faulty Intoxilyzer 8000 machines to inform them the results will not be used as evidence in their DUI cases.

The use of faulty breathalyzer machines in two counties in Florida may indicate a larger problem associated with alcohol breath testing equipment.  If errors occurred in two counties in Florida, there’s a likelihood it’s also taking place in several other counties throughout the state.

This apparent problem also calls into question the reliability of alcohol breath tests in general.  If the mere failure to calibrate a breath test machine could lead to such erroneous results, then there may be several other factors influencing the so-called evidence to DUI-related offenses.

If you are facing a DUI conviction after failing a breath alcohol test, there is a probability the case against you could be dismissed based on the unreliability and obvious issues associated with the Intoxilyzer 8000 and other breath testing machines utilized throughout Florida.


What To Do Next:

If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, DUI, or other DUI-related offenses, contact a St. Petersburg DUI Lawyer to discuss possible defenses and specific strategies that may exist in your case. Call the Morris Law Firm at 727-388-4736 to discuss you case directly with an attorney, or fill out our online form to be contacted for a free initial consultation.  The Morris Law Firm can help.  Attorney Melinda Morris has specific knowledge and experience in defending DUI cases and representing alleged drunk driving offenders throughout Pinellas County the entire Tampa Bay, FL area (St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, Hillsborough, Pasco, Manatee, Sarasota and Bradenton).