Did you submit or refuse a breath test?
If you were arrested for DWI in Texas, you were probably offered a breath test. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE A BREATH TEST, however, there can be ramifications for not submitting to the test or for receiving over a 0.08. These ramifications are further explained on the License Suspensions page.
THE INTOXILYZER 5000
The breath testing device used in Texas is the Intoxilyzer 5000. (This should not be confused with the "PBT" or Portable Breath Test) The manufacturer of the machine is CMI, a Kentucky corporation. Although this machine can be accurate, it is by no means infallible.
I am often asked, "If I failed a breath test, do I have any chance at trial??" The answer to this question is yes, you still have a chance to be found not guilty. However, it is more of an uphill battle.
The general principles behind the test is the relationship between the subject's amount of alcohol in a person's deep lung air compared to the amount of alcohol in the person;s blood in the aveolar tissue of the lungs. These machines are calibrated to assume the ration of alcohol in the air to alcohol in the blood is 1 to 2100.
I think you can already see where this is going. . . Not all research agrees that the 1 to 2100 ratio is accurate for everyone.
MOUTH ALCOHOL & CONTAMINATIONS
The Intoxilyzer 5000 uses infrared technology to analyze a breath sample. This helps the machine determine how much alcohol in in the breath sample. One problem with the machine is its inability to differentiate between mouth alcohol and alcohol from the lungs. Sometimes you can have residual mouth alcohol from dentures, chewing tobacco, gum, or other items which may trap the alcohol in your mouth.
The Intoxilyzer 5000 also may not be able to differentiate between the molecules in ethyl alcohol, and other molecules. When the Intoxilyzer is at work, the infrared light passes through the breath sample. Based upon the wave lengths it picks up, it attempts to determine which is ethyl alcohol. There are many other substances that have similar characteristics to ethyl alcohol that can be confusing to the machine. Wood working or construction chemicals can be inhaled or placed near the machine that can be misinterpreted by the machine.... In the end, this is simply a machine, prone to misinterpretations!
Someone's breath temperature can be crucial to the accuracy of the Intoxilyzer 5000. The 5000 is calibrated to test breath at 34 degrees Celsius. If your breath is not at that same temperature it can affect the reading of the alcohol amount.
WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN TO ME???
The point is, the machine used to test your breath sample is not 100% accurate. It is possible to win in court even if you provided a breath sample of over 0.08. Your only chance, however, is with a seasoned attorney who knows the ins and outs of DWI cases.
If you submitted to a breath test, click HERE to receive a FREE evaluation regarding your DWI or DUI case