Ohio Judge Rules Intoxilyzer 8000 Evidence Inadmissible

The last post of this blog discussed the Gerome case in Athens, Ohio. In that case, which is still pending, the judge will make decisions about the reliability of the Intoxilyzer 8000 and whether a defendant must be given an opportunity to challenge the breath test’s general reliability at trial. In a similar case in Circleville, Ohio, the judge recently ruled that evidence from the Intoxilyzer 8000 is not even reliable enough to be introduced as evidence at trial.
The case in Circleville is State v. Reid. In that case, three defendants were charged with O.V.I. and tested over the legal limit on Intoxilyzer 8000 breath tests. The defense attorney filed a motion challenging evidence concerning the Intoxilyzer 8000, and Judge Gary Dumm ruled in favor of the defendants.

In his decision, the judge stated, “The court has an obligation as a gatekeeper of evidentiary concerns to make its own assessment of the accuracy and reliability of the Intoxilyzer 8000 and this court has heard no evidence from ODH to lead it to believe that the machine is accurate and reliable.” The judge went on to conclude, “Having heard the testimony presented in the above cases, the court finds that the Intoxilyzer 8000 has not been demonstrated by expert testimony by the Ohio Department of Health to be an accurate and reliable instrument for breath testing in OVI cases.”

According to the Circleville Herald, Intoxilyzer 8000s in the Circleville area were immediately taken out of service and replaced with other breath-testing machines. According to my sources, the Ohio State Highway patrol is returning to using different breath-testing machines throughout the state. If the Intoxilzyer 8000 is no longer used in Ohio, what will the state do with the 700 machines it purchased at a cost of $6.4 million?