Breath Testing in Jacksonville DUI Cases Must Be Challenged For Accuracy

Jacksonville DUI Defense Lawyers have recently reported on our blog about an accident in Nassau that has left a woman in the hospital with life-threatening injuries, as reported by News4Jax.com.

Florida Highway Patrol troopers suspect the driver of the vehicle that allegedly cause the accident could have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They are awaiting blood test results before determining whether or not to file DUI charges. DUI charges in Jacksonville are serious and require a vigorous defense in court.
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DUI is the most commonly filed charge in the United States. In fact, it can happen to anyone and it does. Police officers, politicians and others can drink too much and get behind the wheel — or at least be accused of doing so.

But sometimes, law enforcement officers make mistakes, just like everyone else. It’s possible that officers misinterpret a driver’s actions and level of intoxication and arrest people who don’t deserve to be arrested.

And one of the tactics officers use is breath testing of DUI defendants. But while this is typically an integral part of a DUI investigation and prosecution, it doesn’t come without controversy.

Breathalyzers, as the devices are commonly called, typically contain a little tube attached to a device. Officers ask a driver if they will submit to a breath test by blowing into the tube.

Refusal to blow into the tube will result in a driver’s license suspension, but that, too, can be fought in a different type of court proceeding called a driver’s license administrative hearing. A Jacksonville DUI Attorney should be consulted for that hearing as soon as possible because a person arrested for DUI only has 10 days to request a hearing. It is an entirely separate type of hearing and it’s possible to retain a driver’s license while their criminal case is pending.

But if a person does blow into the device, it will register a number that is supposed to tell the officer what the driver’s blood-alcohol content level is. In Florida, the legal limit is .08. And while officers rely on these devices to prove a person’s guilt, these devices only estimate, but can’t measure, a person’s blood-alcohol content level.

Outside factors such as the weather or even what a person ate for dinner can affect the output. That’s because gases in a person’s stomach can affect the breath that comes out of their mouth and registers with the devices. Plus, because there is no blood drawn, the device can’t accurately report the level of alcohol in the blood.

It’s also possible that faulty software can affect these machines and it has been reported that law enforcement across the country haven’t properly calibrated these machines and they haven’t performed regularly scheduled maintenance that can affect their accuracy.

In fact, CBS News in Tampa recently reported about a battle that many DUI attorneys are fighting with the makers of the Intoxilyzer 8000 to obtain the software code to the machines to determine if DUI defendants have been falsely convicted. It’s a real problem that Jacksonville DUI Attorneys are prepared to fight head-on for our clients.


The Forbess Law Firm has been helping clients facing criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville DUI defense lawyer, contact our firm today through our website. Or call us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Resources:

Experts say breathalyzer not accurate and results should be thrown out, by Mike Deeson, CBS News