The State of Georgia allows police agencies throughout the State to use the Intoxilyzer 5000 and 9000 to determine how much alcohol is in your blood by testing a sample of your breath. By allowing this testing method, the State is allowing the police agencies to use the fastest and least expensive method of testing alcohol quantity in a person’s blood. If you want to get an exact measurement of the alcohol in someone’s blood, you should demand a blood test.
The Intoxilyzer 5000 and 9000 are nothing more than a computer. The program language which governs the operation of the computer was written by people who set forth basic assumptions to determine how the computer is going to operate. This is just like writing program language for your household computer. Everyone knows that we humans are all different. Some of us are bigger than others. Some of us have faster metabolisms than others. Women are anatomically different from men. The breath test used by the State of Georgia omits the numerous variables that could affect the test results and applies the same standard to people of all ages, sizes, weight, and sex. We all have different metabolisms and process alcohol differently. However, in order to give the police agencies handy and fast methods for testing alcohol in someone’s blood, the State has approved a breath test machine for that purpose. The State’s own Operator’s Manual points out how men and women differ anatomically and how men and women will have different test results for the same weight and same quantity of alcohol consumed. This just is not fair to the public, and especially to the women who are likely to score much higher than men on this breath testing device. Contact Guy Sharpe as soon as possible after you get your ticket to discuss the various defenses that he has successfully used regarding the breath test method of determining how much alcohol is in a person’s blood.
The Intoxilyzer 5000 and 9000 test must be performed according to procedures set out by law. You may elect to challenge the testing procedures and the accuracy of the blood alcohol tests results. Prior to requiring you to submit to the state designated test, the arresting officer is required to read you specific rights advising you that you have the right to obtain another additional test by a qualified person of your own choosing. In Georgia, if you were not told of your rights, that is grounds to have the state's blood alcohol test results suppressed (thrown out) in the trial of your case.
In Georgia, most police agencies started using the Intoxilyzer 5000 and 9000 around January 1, 1995. While this machine is supposed to be better technology than the Intoximeter 3000, there are problems associated with its use. When first put into service, the Intoxilyzer 5000 and 9000 required people to blow into the machine for a very long time, and maintain a certain pressure level to complete the test. If you did not blow long enough or hard enough, you were written up as a ''refusal'. All of the Intoxilyzers in use in the state of Georgia had to be returned to the manufacturer to have their computer chips reprogrammed to reduce the length and pressure of each blow. This resulted in fewer people being written up as "refusals".
All work done on the Intoxilyzer 5000 and 9000s must be done by the manufacturer's representative. State employees do not have the training or facilities to repair the machine. That raises the question, "How do we know whether or not the machines currently in use are functioning properly?" The manufacturer says the machine has a self-checking program, and if the machine is not functioning properly, it will not perform the test. Well, that is debatable. Your attorney should always ask questions about the methods used to check the machine before it is put back into service or performs a test. By the way, this self-checking machine comes with NO WARRANTY, expressed or implied, from the manufacturer. They also deny liability for damages as a result of the failure of parts or workmanship. It makes you wonder just how good it is. Your attorney should question the state's expert on this issue during your trial and make some valueable points with the jury on this NO WARRANTY issue.
Your attorney should also ask the state's expert witness about the experiments ran which showed that the Intoxilyzer 5000 and 9000 would show a positive result for alcohol after people have eaten bread, yeast and other foods, with no alcohol at all in their bodies. The machine is not as good as the state and manufacturer would have juries believe.
The Department of Forensic Sciences has designated certain people known as "inspectors" to go around the state and check the machines in service, run specified programs to see if the unit is working, etc. After they check the unit, they sign a certificate, as required by law, certifying that the machine has all of its component parts attached and in good working order. I had one of these inspectors on the witness stand under cross examination, and he admitted that he could not identify all of the component parts of the machine, nor did he have the training or facilities to check the component parts of the machine to insure that the component parts were operating within the manufacturers specifications.
The Intoxilyzer 5000 and 9000 are subject to radio and electrical interference and can give a positive reading for substances other than alcohol. The experienced DUI attorney should always investigate these areas and present appropriate questions to the proper parties to determine whether or not the machine has been calibrated and checked before his client was tested on the Intoxilyzer 5000 and 9000.
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