When a person is arrested for DUI in Georgia, suspected of being under the influence of alcohol, most of the time the police will request that the person go to the jail or police station and submit to a “State chemical test of your breath.” It is this “breath test” that is used to convict that person of DUI, simply for having blood alcohol content (BAC) of over .08 grams.
Georgia uses a breath test machine manufactured by CMI, a company out of Kentucky. The machine contains many parts, and operates through an Infrared device used to take a breath sample from a suspect and convert it into an amount of alcohol in the person’s blood. The machine is a computer and operates by using a “source code” as all computers operate. There are many reasons why we should not trust the accuracy of Georgia’s breath machine. Here a just a few:
1. The machine is only inspected by a State employee once every 3 months; it is not inspected before and after every individual test. Therefore, even if the machine is deemed to be working properly, it can only be argued correctly that it was working that day, with only the inspector present.
2. During the “inspection”, the tester never actually opens up the machine to check to see if the electronic components are working properly.
3. The inspector does run a known alcohol solution through the machine. If the machine prints out a reading that is close to the actual alcohol amount, the machine is deemed to be working that day.
4. The alcohol control solution is in no way similar to an actual human sample. It does not take into account how a person with asthma, allergies, braces, gastric reflux, bridgework, or a fever would blow.
5. The inspector runs two test samples, if the two test results are within 25% of each other the machine is deemed to be working properly!
There are many other reasons why you should not trust the breath test machine, but if you just consider the way Georgia inspects these machines to “verify” that they are working properly, ask yourself the following:
a. Would you allow your CPA to prepare a federal tax return with a 25% potential disparity?
b. Would you pay a lasik surgeon to fix your vision, and accept as “good enough for medical purposes” a CORRECTION that was OFF by these + and – ranges?
c. Would you book a flight on an airline with these variable percentages on their altimeters (the device that estimates the distance between the ground and the wheels at “touch down” on the runway)?
While these scenarios may seem far-fetched, they demonstrate the importance of only seeking the advice of an experienced Georgia DUI attorney if charged with DUI. To learn more about DUI and traffic violation defense, read our blog and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.