Georgia Intoxilyzer 9000 Unreliable?

Georgia Intoxilyzer 9000 Unreliable?

There are essentially three ways to determine whether a driver is legally intoxicated—a breath test, a blood test and a urine test. In Georgia—as well as every other state in the U.S.—the legal BAC limit is 0.08 percent. Consent is generally required for a blood test, although some states do allow forcible blood draws under certain circumstances. Urine tests are the least reliable of the three types of tests and are considered nearly as intrusive as a blood test.  Law enforcement typically uses breath testing to estimate the blood alcohol content or BAC of a DUI suspect.  Most police officers carry portable, lightweight breathalyzers in their vehicles. These portable breathalyzers provide quick results, while a non-portable breathalyzer machine may be used at the police station to confirm the results.  

Although the results of a breathalyzer device are generally considered sufficiently accurate to be admitted in a DUI prosecution, there are a number of problems associated with breath tests. The primary problem is the fact that a breathalyzer machine does not distinguish one individual from another as they have been programmed to assume all subjects share the same traits. Because of this type of averaging, inaccurate readings can result. A person’s diet, gender, weight, health and even profession can potentially skewer the results of a breath test. Painters or those who are routinely exposed to glue or gasoline are just three of the professions which can cause a higher BAC reading. Those on the Keto diet may also have higher readings. 

Outdated Georgia Intoxilyzer 5000 Changed Out for the Intoxilyzer 9000

The state of Georgia recently changed their breath test devices from the outdated Intoxilyzer 5000 to the new Intoxilyzer 9000. Because there was some question regarding the reliability of the Intoxilyzer 5000, many thought the state should have gone to a different manufacturer altogether, however rather than switching manufacturers, the state decided to simply upgrade to a new version. The Intoxilyzer 9000 can store more data than the prior model, runs a calibration test for each test, prints out a graph showing the information, and, overall, uses different technology than the 5000. 

Although these upgrades are positive, the 9000 still has some issues which could result in a falsely high BAC reading. The new device is overly sensitive to many compounds other than ethanol, meaning it can confuse other compounds with alcohol. This can be a significant issue for those with diabetes or those following a low-carbohydrate diet—both of which can be read as alcohol. In fact, according to an evaluation done by the GBI Crime Laboratory, the Intoxilyzer 9000 is really bad at detecting the presence of residual alcohol. 

Out of 50 possible points, the Intoxilyzer 9000 scored only a 20 (40% of the possible points) which shows just how inaccurate the results of the Intoxilyzer 9000 really is. Of course, the Intoxilyzer 900—as well as any other breath testing device—must be properly administered to render reliable results. When law enforcement personnel are not properly trained or fail to observe the individual for 15 minutes prior to administering the test, an inaccurate reading can result from anymachine. 

If You Have Been Charged with a Georgia DUI, You Need Immediate Legal Assistance 

Whether you submitted to an Intoxilyzer 9000 test or refused a breath test, if you want the most positive outcome possible following your Georgia DUI arrest it is important that you speak to an experienced Georgia DUI attorney as quickly as possible. DUI attorney Melanie Ellwanger understands that good people make mistakes. Melanie can help you during this difficult time by aggressively fighting your Georgia DUI charges. Melanie is dedicated to protecting your rights and your future and will advocate strongly for you following your DUI arrest. ContactMelanie Ellwanger today at (404) 803-3105 for highly experienced, knowledgeable DUI representation.