Is The Breath Test Accurate?

January 9th, 2014

Below is more DUI law need-to-know from Tampa criminal defense attorney Brett Metcalf. Learn more at and schedule a free consultation.

Is the Breath Test accurate? 

That depends on your definition of accuracy. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) drafted the rules governing the breath machine used in Florida – the Intoxilyzer 8000. FDLE decided that everyone arrested for DUI needs to provide two breath samples and that the results are “accurate,” if they fall within .02 points of each other. That .02 margin of error is 25% of the legal limit of .08! 

To illustrate, let’s imagine you’re arrested for DUI and you blow exactly .08 on your first attempt. With a .02 margin of error, your second test can fall anywhere between .06 – .10 and be considered accurate by FDLE. That means the spread of acceptable results on your second attempt is .04! Does that sound accurate to you? 

If you have been arrested for DUI and you blow over a .08, we can still win your case. The incredible margin of error allowed by FLDE is just one fact we can use to attack the Intoxilyzer 8000. Remember, the prosecution has the burden of proving you were above a .08 at the time you were driving. If we can show the jury a reason to doubt the accuracy of your breath test, you are not guilty of DUI.

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