There are a number of different breath testing machines manufactured by a number of different companies. In Hawaii the Intoxilyzer 5000 and 8000 are used, both manufactured by CMI. These are the machines used at the police station. Both rely on infrared spectrometry. While the science of infrared spectrometry is not new, for identifying basic items, the science is far more questionable when it comes to differing between closely related substances and measuring the substances. There are a number of scientific studies, by independent scientists not paid by CMI, that show that the machines are susceptible to a wide variety of variables. Additionally, it is well known, but not readily made known by the government, that the machine uses a lot of generalizations to arrive at the number that the machine spits out. You may not fall into the general guidelines that the machine assumes. For example, if the average man in America is 5’10 and 165 pounds that doesn’t mean that if you get an “average” sized set of clothing that it will fit you. On top of that, CMI refuses to allow outside scientists know how the machine works. And, if you think it is some sort of Star Trek type of technology that they don’t want the world to know about lest the common man be able to travel at warp speed, consider that CMI boasts that its newest model, the Intoxilyzer 9000, has 128 MB of RAM and 512 MB of flash HD. Compare that to your child’s old smart phone that you handed down to him a year or two ago. Let’s just say it suffers from problems despite the government’s efforts to portray it as a machine that does not need any maintenance.
The Contributor is Kevin O’Grady esquire. Kevin O’Grady practices in Honolulu, Hawaii, has been in practice since 1997, is a former prosecutor, a member of the National College for DUI Defense, the NACDL, and HACDL and he is a Major in the U.S. Army reserve as a Judge Advocate. His practice is 90% DUI and traffic related. He focuses on DUI, criminal defense, and Courts-Martial. He can be reached at 1-800-DUI-CASE, 808-521-3367, WWW.CriminalAndMilitaryDefenseHawaii.Com, or Paralegal1@CriminalAndMilitaryDefenseHawaii.Com