The Intoxilyzer 9000 has come under recent criticism following the uncovering of inaccuracies in its alcohol testing results. The subsequent outcome has been the wrongful revoking of the rights of everyday individuals who are not culpable of driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances. Reach out to a Houston DWI attorney from the Law Office of David A. Breston today to learn more.
Despite the oddity of the name “Intoxilyzer 9000,” this device actually serves a vital purpose in the American legal system. The machine is one that can, supposedly, detect alcohol in someone’s system. It claims to do so by analyzing the amount of light that is passed through someone’s breath. The breath of an intoxicated individual will, in theory, allow less light to pass through than the sample of someone who is not intoxicated. This theory is presumably and practically quite shaky.
The Intoxilyzer was designed as an alternative to the regular “breathalyzer” that so many people are already familiar with. Breathalyzers are roadside tests that can determine the amount of alcohol in someone’s system. These are also quite problematic and come with many inherent flaws, although the alcohol measurement system is often considered to be even more scientific than that of the Intoxilyzer. In the case of the breathalyzer, alcohol particles from someone’s breath interact with a chemical that, in turn, produces an electrical current that measures the amount of alcohol present.
These devices have been known to send a plethora of innocent people to jail as they are often reported to be inaccurate. The same goes for the Intoxilyzer as the amount of light that can be passed through breath can vary based on a number of conditions that have nothing to do with alcohol, including but not limited to smoke from cigarettes, moisture/water vapor, acetone, and ketones – the latter three of which are natural and are created within the human body.
The Intoxilyzer has been popular for prosecutors to point to as it is a machine that is fixed and only available to be used within a police station – an element that gives it slightly more confidence versus the breathalyzer that is small in stature and available on the roadside. Even so, the Intoxilyzer and other blood alcohol content (BAC) measurement machines have been known to put people in jail when no real crime has been committed due to false positives.
The result of a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge in Texas is one that can have long-lasting impacts on the lives of victims, including losing custody of children, going to jail, and having a driver’s license revoked. To learn more about how our attorneys protect people against false positives presented by the prosecution, visit our website or call one of our representatives at (713) 224-4040 for a free consultation.