Thursday, January 18, 2007

Study Shows Inherent Unreliability of Accuracy of Intoxilzer 5000

Stefan Rose, M.D. and Kenneth G. Furton, Ph.D. with Department of Chemistry and International Forensic Research Institute, Florida International University have published a groudbreaking article telling us what we already knew: That Intoxilyzers are inherently unreliable to yield accurate results of a person's true level of blood alcohol concentration simply by measuring their breath!
All Criminal Defense attorneys actively engaged in the defense of individuals charged with DWI/DUI need to know and understand the contents of this article inside and out! I believe it would be legal malpractice for an attorney to undertake and defend a breath-tests failure case without being armed with this knowledge! Furthermore, this article can serve as a VERY effective blueprint for cross-examining a state's breath-testing expert. The Introductory paragraph reads as follows::

"Breath testing instruments have been used extensively for the determination of ethanol in medicolegal investigations due to the simplicity in their operation, the relative portability of the instruments and the immediately available results. Unfortunately, breath alcohol instruments universally are prone to false positives(i.e. instrument reports ethanol is present when in fact it is responding to a different chemical) and falsely elevated breath values when ethanol is present
(due to a variety of factors). The Intoxilyzer 5000 breath alcohol instrument is no exception and numerous studies have documented some of the sources of the errors with this instrument. The major types of variables discussed in this chapter include physiological (biological) variables and analytical (instrumental) variables with overlap between the two. The uncertainty in evidential breath-analyzer readings for a random subjects in the post-absorptive state has been determined to be as much as ±27% with over 90% of this uncertainty due to biological variables of the subject and at least 23% of subjects having their actual blood-alcohol concentration overestimated..."

To view and download the entire article along with demonstrative tables in PDF format go to:

Also, my hat is off to Tom Hudson, a Florida Attorney for making this information available to us on the web. If anyone in Key West/Sarasota, FL. needs a top-notched DUI/DWI Defense Attorney, this is the guy to go see!


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