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The Seven Secrets of the Intoxilyzer 8000
(What the Police Don't Want You to Know)
By Tom Hudson
|Secret No. 1.||
8000 is the official breath test instrument
of the State of Florida. The police will tell you that it is
"tried and true." However, in the computer age,
"tried and true" translates into "obsolete." The
Intoxilyzer 8000 is based upon the Zilog Z-80 microprocessor. This
same chip was the brains of the Tandy
which was the hit of the home computer industry.....in 1977!
|Secret No. 2.||
Intoxilyzer is calibrated, if the temperature of the
testing solution is off by as little as one-fifth of one degree
calibration is not considered accurate. Human body temperatures may vary as
much as three full degrees-- depending on health, physical
activity or even the hour of the day! If you have a slight fever and
your body temperature is elevated by only 1 degree Centigrade (1.8 degrees
Fahrenheit), your apparent blood alcohol will be artificially inflated by
approximately seven percent.
(Isn't it interesting how these
errors always work against you and never
|Secret No. 3.||
physical principle of the Intoxilyzer is known as "Henry's Law,"
which states that the concentration of a volatile chemical in vapor above
a solution is proportional to the concentration of the chemical in the
solution. This is true in the laboratory, but in humans, the
proportions can vary by as much as 50%. This means that the
Intoxilyzer can overstate your blood alcohol by as much as 50%! As
Drs. Stefan Rose and Kenneth Furton have written, "Henry's Law does not apply in the lungs. In order for Henry's Law to apply, three conditions must be met. One, the solution must be in a closed system, like a sealed bottle. The lungs are open, not closed. Two, the solution must be kept at a known, constant temperature. The lung temperature is never known, and the temperature is
always changing. And three, the pressure must be kept constant. The lungs are always changing pressure, decreasing pressure to inhale and increasing pressure to exhale. Without all three conditions present, it is not possible for equilibrium to occur, and Henry's Law does not apply."
|Secret No. 4.||
Intoxilyzer 8000 operates on a principle known as the "Lambert-Beer
Law," which states that the amount of infrared light absorbed by your
breath is proportional to the amount of alcohol in the sample.
Think of it like the way in which fog will block your car's headlights on
a damp night. In short, the more alcohol there is, the less infrared light that gets through
the chamber to the detector. However, there are other compounds,
called "interferents," which can also block the infrared.
And the Intoxilyzer cannot reliably tell them all apart!!
|Secret No. 5.||
Three or four
deep breaths before blowing into the Intoxilyzer will cool your lungs and
fill them with
fresh air. This sort of hyperventilation may lower your breath alcohol by
as much as 55%, without
violating the protocols of the test. For more information, see
article on the 3/2 Rule.
|Secret No. 6.||
for the Intoxilyzer 8000 in Florida requires only that you blow 1.1 liters
of breath. The average adult has a "vital capacity" (the amount he or
she can forcibly exhale in one breath) of between three
and four liters. The police will urge you to keep blowing your
entire breath into the machine. However, such a long breath will artificially
increase the apparent amount of alcohol in your breath by skewing the sample toward
your "deep lung air," where the alcohol is more highly
concentrated. If you only blow half of your breath,
you will give an adequate sample, which will be up to 30% less than the
sample that the police want you to give.
The Intoxilyzer 8000 measures
how much breath you provide by something called a 'pressure transducer.' Instead of directly measuring the volume of your breath by a pressure
switch, like the old Intoxilyzer 5000 did, the 8000 indirectly measures
only is it needlessly complicated, it simply doesn't
work! The flow sensor systems in Florida's Intoxilyzer 8000's
are so unreliable that FDLE ordered that police STOP KEEPING RECORDS of the
system in monthly checks. In 2011, a system-wide check showed that 40%
of the machines in Florida couldn't accurately measure breath volume!
And on a machine whose pressure transducer was not properly calibrated, the
machine was three to five times more likely to deliver an alcohol reading over .25. Sad.
The Hudson Law Office
Aggressive Defense of DUI and Criminal Cases
Sarasota, Key West and Bradenton, Florida
Drink responsibly. Use a designated driver. Drunk driving kills.
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