If you are pulled over for driving under the influence (DUI), there’s a good chance that the officer who stops you will administer a breathalyzer to determine your level of impairment. In Oklahoma, this test is performed on a device known as the Intoxilyzer 8000. Fortunately, the attorneys at The Edge Law Firm have successfully helped many clients challenge their breath-test results—and they may be able to help you do the same.
Blood Alcohol Content: A Beginner’s Guide
Even if you believe you are capable of driving, you may be considered legally impaired if you have an illegal amount of alcohol in your system while you are driving. Blood alcohol content, or BAC, is a unit of measurement that is used to express the percentage of alcohol in your bloodstream. In the eyes of the law, anyone with a BAC of 0.08% or higher is incapable of driving—and under this definition, you can be arrested for DUI if you are driving with a BAC above this limit.
This is a column used in the GC-MS machine—it is the coil that the sample travels through for testing.
Unfortunately, there’s really no way to find out what your BAC is without taking a breathalyzer or other chemical test. As such, if you are pulled over by an officer who suspects you may be under the influence, you will most likely be given a breathalyzer to determine your blood alcohol content. In Oklahoma, this test will be administered on a device called the Intoxilyzer 8000.
How the Intoxilyzer 8000 Works
To perform a breathalyzer, the officer will ask you to blow into a tube-like object for several seconds. If any alcohol is detected in the sample, the device will use a set ratio to calculate your BAC. Of course, since the test relies on your breath to provide information about your blood, it does not always reflect blood alcohol content accurately.
This is the Intoxilyzer 8000. Mr. Edge co-own the only 2 machines privately held in Oklahoma. There are only 8 attorneys in the United States who own one of these. The State will not allow anyone to buy them and tried to prevent me from getting mine. What are they afraid of? If it works properly they should be happy to display it and have it tested for accuracy—They don’t.
The Intoxilyzer 8000 uses infrared spectrometry to measure BAC. In simple terms, this means the device relies on wavelengths of light to make its calculations—basing its results on how quickly certain molecules in your breath are absorbed by the light. To determine the final results, the Intoxilyzer assumes you have a breath to blood ratio of 1:2100. However, if you do not meet the device’s definition of the average person, your results will be incorrect.
This the intake valve and screen of an Intoxilyzer 8000. There is no set maintenance for this piece and you can see how it can be easily clogged—The machine will ASSUME that a proper breath sample is not provided and issue a refusal to blow.
If you were recently arrested for driving under the influence after a breathalyzer indicated you had a BAC above the legal 0.08% limit, you may be able to challenge the accuracy of your results based on the Intoxilyzer 8000’s flawed calculation methods. To determine the right strategy for your defense, contact The Edge Law Firm to discuss your test results with one of our board-certified attorneys.
This is a schematic of the flow of the breath sample and how it is tested. A light ray is beamed through the breath and if anything interferes with the light at specific levels—the machine assumes it is alcohol, and prints a results showing this.
After helping countless drivers challenge their breathalyzer results, our firm is well-versed in all of the Intoxilyzer 8000’s weaknesses—and our attorneys know just where to look for errors that can be used to support your defense. In fact, Attorney Bruce Edge has his own Intoxilyzer 8000 unit, which can be used to your benefit when preparing a defense strategy for your case.