BAC Level Above 0.08 In Arizona. Warrents a
The state of Arizona
uses a machine called the Intoxilizer 5000 to determine blood alcohol
levels. The Intoxilizer 5000 was developed using old technology.
In fact, the Z-80 microprocessor used by the Intoxilizer 5000 was
introduced over 30 years ago.
The machine utilizes infrared absorption to determine
alcohol levels. A person suspected of DUI must blow into a tube.
The tube leads to chamber where the suspect’s breath is collected.
An infrared light shines through the chamber and tiny alcohol molecules
in the breath absorb fragments of the light. The difference between
the light emitted and the light received at the other end of the
chamber is used to calculate a number that is ultimately compared
against a .08.
The reliability of the Intoxilizer 5000 has been the
subject of debate for many years. Many believe the amount of breath
sampled to be too small to yield accurate results. Furthermore,
opposition to the Intoxilizer 5000 claim that the device confuses
other substances with alcohol therefore causes inflated results.
Cigarette smoke, mints, or the consumption of foods such as bread
may impact the test results.
Arizona DUI law only requires that the device perform
within a 20% variance. Therefore, it is acceptable for results to
be as much as 10% off. This means that if your tests results yield
a .08 it is very likely that you were not driving over Arizona’s
legal limit. With this in mind, the manufacture doesn’t warrant
the accuracy or reliability of the tests results.
Another operational flaw of the Intoxilizer 5000 is
that the machine assumes that everyone tested has a blood/breath
ratio of 2100/1 (2100 parts of alcohol in the breath for every 1
part of alcohol in the blood). This assumption should not be made.
Individual blood/breath ratios vary considerable. There are documented
cases of individuals with blood/breath ratios as low as 1100/1.
However, the Intoxilizer 5000 does not account for this.
For these reasons, the Intoxilizer 5000’s
results should not be trusted.