It seems that lately I've been getting a lot of phone calls from people
charged with DUI. Since Miami-Dade and Broward are so broke, it makes
sense that cops are out there, trying to make those lucrative DUI arrests.
Think about it - with the fines, impound fees, probation costs, and cost
recovery (yes, you can be made to reimburse the police for their investigation
time) DUIs are big business.
It's common when you are
arrested for DUI
to want to submit to a breath test. Whole you have a right to refuse the
breath test, many people chose to blow into the breathalyzer, hoping for
something less than a .08. Many times, breath samples come back much higher
than expected. You might think, "there was no way I was a .15. I
had two drinks."
In Miami and Broward, police agencies use a machine called the Intoxilyzer
8000. It sounds like a character from a bad 80's robot movie, but
no...it's the piece of machinery used to calculate (or at least attempt
to calculate) one's apparent blood-alcohol level. Many people dispair
after blowing high numbers, thinking that their DUI is unbeatable. They
couldn't be more wrong.
The Intoxilyzer 8000 is a machine. Much like your toaster oven. Like your
television. Like the computer you're using right now. It doesn't
have a pulse. It doesn't have a conscience. It doesn't have a
brain. It runs on outdated computer software, the same stuff used in those
blocky Commodore desktops that were popular around 1979. I'm not kidding.
And in recent years, the Intoxilyzer 8000 has become a source of controversy.
By law, each Intoxilyzer machine must be tested and maintained on a regular
basis by qualified FDLE inspectors. These inspections are to make sure
that the machines are running properly, and most importantly, testing
accurately. In 2008, it became apparent that Sandra Viega, an FDLE inspector
responsible for a large number of Intoxilyzer machines in Miami and Broward,
was manipulating the results of these inspections. If a machine was shown
to malfunction, Ms. Viega allegedly would turn the machine off, which
in turn would fail to report a malfunction of the machine. As a result,
countless DUI cases have been thrown out. For more information on this
troubling story, click here:
I handle DUI cases in both Broward and Miami-Dade. As a
, I am not only aware of the issues prevalent in the Intoxilyzer 8000,
but I am aware of the legal protocol that agencies must follow in maintaining
and inspecting these machines. Don't dispair! If you or someone you
know has blown into that machine and the results were unfavorable, don't
give up and plead guilty! That's what the cops and the prosecutors
want you to do! Don't give up your presumption of innocence and constitutional
right to fight your DUI without first consulting a Miami-Dade County DUI attorney
who is familiar with breath test cases. If you plead guilty, you will
get a MANDATORY conviction and a license suspension, not to mention pricey
fines, costs, and community service hours that will eat up your free time.
Call me today
if you or someone you know has a DUI involving a breath test.