Breathalyzer/Breath Test/Intoxilyzer


The State of Ohio has approved several breathalyzers for use by law enforcement. Specifically, the BAC DataMaster, BAC DataMaster K, BAC DataMaster cdm; Intoxilyzer model 5000 series 66, 68 and 68 EN; and Intoxilyzer model 8000 (OH-5). These machines use a principle called infrared spectrometry, which is a characterization tool chemists use to help determine molecular structure. It capitalizes on the concept that functional groups, in this case ethyl alcohol, absorb specific frequencies of energy based on their structure, and can thus be identified and quantified.


Several Ohio lawyers have challenged the Intoxilyzer 8000 based on possible inaccuracies due to variables in temperature and humidity and radio interference. Drunk driving suspects have challenged the machines in Arizona, Minnesota and Florida with mixed results. Tennessee deemed the device too inaccurate to be used for the prosecution of DUI offenses in that state. Judges in two Florida counties have levied big fines against CMI Inc., the Kentucky company that makes the Intoxilyzer 8000, because it refuses to make public the machine's computer source code so its accuracy can be tested.


Challenges to the general reliability of breathalyzer results cannot be made in Ohio. In 1984, the Ohio Supreme Court in State v. Vega (1984), 12 Ohio St.3d 185, 465 N.E.2d 1303, significantly curtailed the defenses a defendant can present concerning the reliability of the breathalyzer results. As a result, in Ohio, defense attorneys have focused on the Ohio Department of Health regulations for problems with blood, breath, and urine evidence.


If you have been charged with an OVI/DUI/DWI, it is imperative that you contact an attorney. Please call 216.225.9181, Email, or use the contact form to schedule an initial consultation.