Florida law enforcement agencies use a breath testing device called the Intoxilyzer 8000 to measure an arrested person’s blood alcohol concentration and secure evidence to convict citizens of DUI. Does this small machine accurately measure how drunk you are? Why is it supposed to be more accurate than the machine previously used, the Intoxilyzer 5000? Was that machine accurate if it was replaced?
The science behind breath testing offers insight into the shortcomings of the breath testing machine. Issues such as the following:
Did my partition ratio differ from the 2100:1 standard used in the Intoxilyzer 8000’s software?
Was there another chemical in my breath which the machine misread as alcohol? (the Intoxilyzer does not measure the ethyl alcohol but molecules in the methyl group)
Was my body temperature elevated? (a 1% elevation could cause a 8% increase in the breath result).
The following video clip is interesting. Defense attorneys, Dalli & Marino, have known of this defect in the Intoxilyzer machine for years (positive alcohol reading after eating bread), and manufacturers of the device certainly have a scientific reply for why this result doesn’t prove that the machine is inaccurate. However, the fact that bread is causing the instrument to show an alcohol reading makes you wonder how accurately the software inside this machine is reading alcohol results that lead to convictions.
In an article yesterday from the St. Petersburg Times, it seems that St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Deveron Gibbon’s does have a clean driving record. The paper printed it wrong in an article from Sunday’s paper.
I personally have my own issues with the Times and their lack of fact checking as well as their one sided approach to journalism. But the July 8, 2009 article brings up a good point: Driving records received from either the Clerk of Court, or the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles are often incorrect or misleading. Which causes problems for people when they apply for jobs, get background checks, or ultimately have their licenses suspended based on incorrect information. Click here for correct information.
What should you do about it? Check your driver’s license regularly at the DHSMV website and if you think the information is wrong. We can’t guarantee we can fix it, but our motto is: “the fix it firm.”
When someone gets a DUI, after they get over the initial shock of being arrested and going to jail, the next real problem is their driver’s license. The ticket you get when you get arrested for DUI is only good for 10 days of driving. (They take your driver’s license when you get arrested, at least they’re supposed to.)
In order to keep your driver’s license, at least for the next 30 or so days, you must file for a formal or informal review with the Bureau of Administrative Review. Any good attorney will do this automatically if you hire them within the first few days after you are arrested.
Note that the administrative hearing, and the loss of your DL through DMV is entirely separate from the criminal process of a DUI. You can beat the DUI in criminal court, but still lose your DL through DMV. But if you win the administrative hearing, it’s often easier to get the criminal part of the DUI reduced. What this accomplishes is you keep your DL and your insurance doesn’t skyrocket like it would with a DUI conviction. Keep in mind that DUI’s are not seal-able or expunge-able so the arrest and conviction will always be on your record.
Daniel Pawuk, has a ton of experience with administrative hearings, and has recently been incredibly successful in winning them. Last week he won one on a very narrow area of the law which many experienced lawyers may have missed.
An often joked about fact of DUI law is that you can get a DUI on a bicycle. Although it doesn’t happen very often it can. How one gets stopped on a bicycle, is beyond me. A common way for the police to harass people is to stop them for not having a light on their bicycle at night. Perhaps then the cop smells alcohol, it’s a slow night for him, and he arrests the person for DUI. DUI arrests take a police officer about 3- 4 hours. They have to give field sobriety test, ask a slew of questions, take the person to a breath test facility, wait 20 minutes, then give two tests – after all of that, there’s paperwork, then transport to the jail and then they have to book them into the jail. Seems like alot of work for a drunk on a bike. Sometimes it causes accident, contact a Cypress truck accident attorney if such thing happen.
What are the criminal sanctions for a Bicycle DUI? Believe it or not – the same as for a DUI in a car. Pursuant to the Florida Statutes, a judge MUST revoke a persons driving privilege for six months, when they are found guilty of DUI in ANY VEHICLE. Florida law defines a bicycle as a vehicle.
I suppose this applies to riding a tractor, go cart, scooter, etc. It’s got to be really slow out there for the police.
If you are arrested for any type of DUI, call us. An experienced attorney is often less expensive than the fines and costs and loss of driver’s license that come with a DUI conviction.