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DWI defense of the intoxilyzer 5000 -

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DWI defense of the intoxilyzer 5000

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DWI Defense Strategies – Problems With the Intoxilyzer 5000

As each of our clients knows, a DWI conviction is a life altering event. Just a few of the worries that our clients face include loss of licensure, employment, and jail time. It is these very concerns that motivate our DWI attorneys to seek new defenses and solutions to DWI prosecution and improve our legal techniques. Bear in mind that being arrested for a DWI does not necessarily equate a conviction. Even test results that are over New Hampshire’s legal limit can be challenged.

As one of New Hampshire’s premiere DWI defense firms, our primary task is to become familiar with each detail of your unique case and to apply our skills and knowledge to the goal of having the DWI dismissed. In any criminal case, the burden of proof lies with the prosecutor, and in a court of law, you are considered innocent until proven guilty. Our work is treated with the utmost seriousness, and we strive to make it difficult for prosecutors to make their case.

One of the most common DWI defense strategies our NH DWI attorneys employ is attacking the credibility of Breathalyzer test results. There are two primary problems with the Intoxilyzer 5000. First and foremost, machine based tests are not the same as blood tests, and secondly, Intoxilyzer 5000 tests measure the amount of alcohol within an air sample, but the machine cannot determine where the actual sample came from.

Source Code and Partition Errors

The good news is that shows like Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and CSI have enabled the general public to get over their general fear of technology and science. While this certainly has its benefits, at the same time, it often makes jurors skeptical of the accuracy of the Intoxilyzer 5000, particularly when they learn it was originally designed and built more than two decades ago. In general, jurors become more enlightened to the possibility that this Breathalyzer machine is nothing magical.

Consider the fact that the Intoxilyzer 5000 calculates a person’s supposed blood alcohol content from a breath sample alone. Now consider how an actual blood test calculates the true percentage of alcohol in your bloodstream. Consequently, when blood alcohol is content is derived from a sample of one’s breath, it becomes a requirement that a mathematical ratio be applied to the breath sample in order to determine blood alcohol content. With the Intoxilyzer 5000, the same exact ratio is applied to each person; however, the primary problem with this approach arises in that no two individuals are exactly alike.

The manufacturer of the Intoxilyzer 5000 has created a mythological “average” individual and applied this ratio to everyone. There is no place on this Breathalyzer machine to input a person’s lung capacity, sex, body fat percentage, age, weight, or other relevant factors. The majority of experts agree that the Intoxilyzer has an error margin that ranges between 20%-70%. Hypothetically, if the machine registered a motorist’s blood alcohol content at .10%, their actual BAC levels could be as low as .03% or as high as .17%, which is more than over the legal limit.

The problem is further compounded by the fact that the Intoxilyzer 5000’s manufacturers have never released the source codes it uses. Technically, no one actually knows the equations this machine is utilizing. This is comparable to a scientist who claims to have achieved a particular result but will not divulge how it was accomplished. That is not true science.

Residual Mouth Alcohol, Heartburn, and Slope Detectors

With the Intoxilyzer, sample contamination is a significant problem. The air that a breath sample utilizes is supposed to bed derived entirely from a person’s lungs; however, the sample could also contain air from the room he or she is in or even their stomach. Moreover, the sample could be “infected” with actual raw alcohol from the suspect’s stomach or mouth. Speaking in a practical manner, when heartburn occurs, it means a person’s esophagus is not closing properly. Consequently, stomach matter (such as alcohol for those who have consumed a drink and acid) and air can infect the breath sample. The Intoxilyzer 5000 was not to take into account consistent stomach air. “Mouth alcohol”, or the tiny amounts of air that accompany a hiccup or belch, can also contaminate a sample.

There are two main mechanisms that have been created to combat these problems. First and foremost, the Intoxilyzer is supposed to feature a “slope detector”. In theory, this feature can detect when a breath sample has been infected; however, it is a well-known fact that it rarely works correctly. In most instances, a slow, steady flow of air will fool the machine.

The second mechanism is a required observation period. The operating manual for the Intoxilyzer 5000 claims that a police officer should observe a potential suspect for a minimum of 20 minutes before conducting an Intoxilyzer breath test. This is a protocol that police officers rarely follow. Even if the 20 minute observation period was followed correctly, it would not work properly because heartburn or a small belch cannot be observed.

Contact Our Law Offices Today

These are just a few of the problems we frequently encounter with the Intoxilyzer 5000. Unfortunately, this machine has become the de facto machine of choice for New Hampshire law enforcement officials. The aforementioned problems are further compounded by the fact that police officers are rarely properly trained and accredited on how to use this machine. One of our primary missions is to educate jurors on the various faults of this machine.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for a DWI in the state of New Hampshire, please contact our law offices today. Our experienced New Hampshire DWI lawyers will provide an honest assessment of your case, and all details discussed during your meeting will be kept 100% confidential. The meeting is free. You have nothing to lose, but everything to gain, so contact us today.



Disclaimer: Past results do not guarantee a future outcome. Results include cases in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Attorney Dan Hynes is admitted to practice law only in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. This website may be considered advertising. Contacting us does not create an attorney/client relationship and the information on this site is not legal advice and may be inaccurate or not applicable to your case. Each case is different.

Mailing Address: Dan Hynes PO BOX 598 Merrimack, NH 03054