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What is the Intoxilyzer 9000 and associated problems?

Intoxilyzer 9000 DWI breath test machine BAC Testing
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What is the Intoxilyzer 9000?

Texas is currently replacing the Intoxilyzer 5000 EN and transitioning to the Intoxilyzer 9000 for breath alcohol testing. 

According to the manufacturer, the device works on the basis of infrared light absorption by alcohol detected in a person’s breath.

According to the manufacturer and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the device subtracts the amount of light absorbed from the person’s alcohol breath sample, compares that amount with the amount of light originally introduced by the device into its testing chamber, and prints the difference as a test result.

Intoxilyzer 9000 Flaws

The theory is that the alcohol molecules block/absorb a certain amount of light which results in a less light getting through to the detector. 

The machine computes the reduced amount light caused by the alcohol molecules. 

The Intoxlyzer 9000 is neither perfect nor expensive (@$7,600). 

Moreover the machine is not warranted to be accurate nor reliable for human testing. 

Rather, it’s warranted to be able to analyze a reference sample solution provided by the manufacturer. 

This simulator and solution can be loosely described as a heated peanut butter jar with alcohol/water mixture with air on top. 

It does not accurately or reliably replicate human lung function.

There are many natural interferences in a person’s breath that may also block infrared light. 

For example, moisture, acetone (a natural occurring substance produced by people on low-carbohydrate diets), ketones and tobacco smoke.

Intoxilyzer 9000 delayed

The DPS’s Breath Alcohol Testing Program has delayed the implementation of the Intoxilyzer 9000, which was originally scheduled for forensic evidential use in summer 2015. 

Much is already known, from use in other states, about the Intoxilyzer 9000’s deficiencies. An experienced DWI lawyer can educate the court and a jury about the deficiencies of the machine’s accuracy and reliability.

Additionally, there are certain upgrades that have been included in the Intoxilyzer 9000 that DPS has chosen not to include in the models it uses for the citizens of the state of Texas. 

The Intoxilyzer 9000 includes the capabilities to print a histogram that shows a subject’s breath flow, volume, and duration during a blow. 

The histogram can aid in determining whether a test is contaminated by mouth alcohol. 

By allowing review, both the defense and the state can determine whether there was sufficient slope in a sample. 

Both Colorado and Georgia are providing this safeguard to their citizens, but DPS has demonstrated that it doesn’t believe the citizens of the state of Texas deserve the same protection.

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What does “intoxicated” mean?

Vodka on the Rocks can make you intoxicated
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What does "intoxicated" mean?

Driving While Intoxicated Lawyer At Trichter & LeGrand

You need not be drunk to be “intoxicated,” but if you are drunk, you must be intoxicated.

“Intoxicated” Defined

“Intoxicated” is defined by the DWI statute in three ways:

  • First, you are “intoxicated” when you have lost the normal use of your mental or, second, physical faculties by ingesting an alcoholic beverage, a drug, a controlled substance, or any combination thereof. The law makes no distinction between the use of prescribed medication and illegal narcotics for the purposes of DWI intoxication.
  • Additionally, there is no requirement that you actually intended to become intoxicated.
  • Third, you are “intoxicated” when you have a breath or blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more in your body at the time of the vehicle operation. There is no per se level of intoxication as it relates to ingesting a drug or a controlled substance.

“Intoxicated” is a Guessing Game

Whether or not you have lost normal use of your mental and physical faculties, the real issue is the efficacy of police officers in their attempts to assess your level of intoxication.

What may affect the faculties of one person may not, necessarily, affect the faculties of another, at least not to the same degree. 

Many variables come into play such as weight, food consumption, and even gender. 

We all absorb alcohol differently so what may appear to be intoxication to an officer in one circumstance may not be in another.

Because intoxication’s cause is not limited to consuming alcohol, it cannot always be measured by taking a blood alcohol level. 

This inability to measure intoxication in a consistent factual manner across substances, leads to an unfair guessing game played by police officers when stopping a person suspected of operating a vehicle while “intoxicated” in the state of Texas or suspected of being “intoxicated” publicly.

Proving Intoxication

Police officers occasionally have a difficult time conclusively proving intoxication but will typically report that an individual smelled of alcohol, sounded intoxicated via slurred speech, or acted in a drunken or intoxicated demeanor. 

These judgments, however, are often both inaccurate and unreliable.

It’s hard enough for people who are more experienced in witnessing intoxication to accurately identify  when a person is intoxicated, which is the case with bartenders. 

However, the determinations of police officers lead to convictions and can possibly send innocent people to jail and ruin their lives.

One of our expert Houston DWI lawyers can make sure that you are not taken advantage of or tricked by police officers. 

We have enough experience with improper charges stemming from perceived intoxication to know that the word of a police officer is not always accurate and sometimes they make mistakes and send innocent people to jail.

If you or a loved has been charged or arrested for a DWI, or have been improperly charged for public intoxication, don’t wait another moment. 

Contact Trichter & LeGrand 24/7 for a free consultation. 

We will work to get you the best result possible.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

Your Free Consultation Is Just One Form Away!

Form Submissions have a fast response time. Our attorneys are always on-call 24/7. The use of this form does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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