My First Case With The Ohio Intoxilyzer 8000

In a previous post, I discussed the Intoxilyzer 8000. The Ohio Department of Health made a controversial purchase of 7000 of these breath-testing machines, and a few are being used in central Ohio D.U.I./O.V.I. cases. In the previous post, I said I would give developments from my first 8000 case.

My client was pulled over for speeding; based on the officer’s visual estimation of my client’s speed. The officer observed the odor of alcohol and had my client get out of the car. The officer administered field sobriety tests, which my client reportedly failed. The officer arrested my client, took him to the police station, and asked him to take a breath test. My client took the breath test twice on the Intoxilyzer 8000. The first test result was .203, and the second test result was .235.

I reviewed the records and found an obvious error. The written report printed by the 8000 said in bold letters “Invalid Test Information”. According to the Intoxilyzer 8000 manual provided by the Ohio Department Of Health, this error code is produced when the “start” button is pressed during the testing sequence.

I filed a motion to suppress the results of the breath test, in addition to a motion to suppress the field sobriety tests. The prosecuting attorney acknowledged that the “invalid test” report was problematic, and the results of the breath test were suppressed. The judge also suppressed the results of the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test (where the suspect follows a pen with his eyes).

It is disappointing that, despite the bold letters saying “Invalid Test Information”, my client was charged with D.U.I./O.V.I. for having a prohibited concentration of alcohol in his breath. In addition, my client’s license was taken due to an administrative license suspension based on that same invalid test. Thankfully, he now has his license back, and the case will go to trial, without evidence regarding the breath test and the HGN test.

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