Ohio employs a device called the Intoxilyzer 8000. This device has many problems in its operation. In fact, after a lengthy hearing on the Intoxilyzer 8000, a judge in Marietta ruled that the machine was not reliable [Story HERE]. Prosecutors hide behind a 1984 Ohio Supreme Court decision that said because the machines were officially certified by the state, they cannot be challenged by expert witnesses. Until this ruling is overturned we have to rely on other issues… and we do.
There are several ways to challenge an OVI breath test that involve operational issues. Operational issues that may be used as defenses in your OVI case include:
- Human error
- Environmental factors
- A breath test may not accurately represent your true Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)
- Your mouth alcohol may be measured higher than your true breath alcohol level
- Amount of time between your arrest and breath test
- The breath test device may be improperly maintained
Did you know that your breathing pattern can significantly alter the concentration of alcohol on your evidential OVI breath test? According to scientific research, “[t]he subject’s test manner of breathing just prior to providing breath for analysis can significantly alter the concentration of alcohol in the resulting exhalation.” (Jones, 1982, Schoknecht, 1989) as cited in Physiological Aspecs of Breath-Alcohol Measurement, Alcohol Drugs & Driving Vol. 6, No. 2, A.W. Jones. Hyperventilation “…lowers the breath alcohol concentration by as much as 20% compared with a single moderate inhalation and forced exhalation used as control tests.” Id. (Jones, 1982). Whereas, “holding breath for a short time (20 seconds) before exhalation increases the alcohol concentration in exhaled air by 15%. Id. (Jones, 1982).
The protocol for the Intoxilyzer 8000 in Ohio requires that you produce merely 1.1 liters of breath, less than the amount of air required to fill a two liter pop bottle. The average adult can exhale between three and four liters of air. If you are unlucky enough to be tested on this machine, the police will urge you to keep blowing your entire breath into the machine. However, such a long breath will artificially increase the apparent amount of alcohol in your breath by skewing the sample toward your “deep lung air,” where the alcohol is more highly concentrated. If you only blow only the required 1.1 liters, you will give an adequate sample, which may be up to 30% less than the sample that the police want you to give.
At Dayton DUI we constantly write on issues affecting an Ohio OVI breath test. I invite you to check out these related articles:
- Ohio DUI Defense: The Top 10 DUI Defenses
- Breath Test Defenses in Ohio
- The Partition Ratio Defense
- The Core Body Temperature Defense
- Exposure To Toulene Defense
- The Hematocrit Defense
- The Fat, Old or Woman Defense
- Infrared Spectroscopy and the Falsely High Breath Test
It is my hope that even the most vehement advocate of tough DUI laws would allow an open debate on the scientific methodology of convicting a person in court. If you are willing to fight to keep truth out of the courtroom, then you have drifted so far from the principles of fairness as to become blind to what our system of justice should be. I call on MADD, the Century Council and all other advocates for tough DUI laws to join me in having a fair fight over the science and protecting our fragile and vulnerable system of justice.
Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio. He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671. You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500. Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog. You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324. “All I do is DUI defense.”
To schedule a visit about your OVI breath test or to learn more, check these city-specific sites at the following links: