DUI Breath Test / Intoxilyzer 5000EN
Read about in-depth details of the DUI breath test and the part it plays in your defense against DUI charges.
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In Las Vegas, an arrest for DUI by an arresting officer will usually require that you submit to a breath test on an Intoxilyzer 5000EN machine that can be found at the Clark County Detention Center, City of Las Vegas Detention Center, Henderson Detention Center or any other jail facility. However, the simple fact is, breathalyzers are likely to give incorrect results.
What are breathalyzers?
Breathalyzers such as the Intoxilyzer 5000EN are machines that collect breath to measure the alcohol concentration in a person’s body. A blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.8 will lead to a positive DUI result. While painless and non-invasive like DUI blood tests, the results may not always be accurate when a person blows into the machine regardless if the machine is actually working properly.
It is important to contact an experienced Las Vegas DUI Breath Test Attorney if you had to blow into the Intoxilyzer 5000EN and received a positive test result. Several factors including the calibration of the machine and medical conditions can cause the machine to return an inaccurate reading.
It is important to contest the accuracy of such machine and breath tests by showing a number of inconsistencies in the inspection and calibration of the actual machine that may have caused a huge margin of error. Below are the possible charges, consequences, and penalties if you refuse the DUI breath test.
Types of Breath Tests
There are two separate breath tests that law enforcers will require those suspected of DUI to take, the Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) and the Evidentiary Breath Test (EBT).
Preliminary breath test
Performed by a police officer upon first pulling you over to determine whether you are driving under the influence. Typically, they will also ask to perform field sobriety tests along with asking you some questions. Refusing a PBT means the officer will arrest you for DUI and suspend your license. If your DUI case goes to trial, the results of the PBT will be used as evidence to show there were reasonable grounds to arrest you but not as evidence for DUI.
Evidentiary breath test
This test occurs in the police station, after you’ve already been arrested. Results of this test can be used in court to show that you were driving under the influence.
Intoxilyzer 500EN and the Common Challenges it Raises in Court
In pre-trial motion hearings, the common goal is to request that the judge remove any mention of the breath test reading while in trial. Challenges in this regard include:
- Is the Intoxilyzer 5000EN properly calibrated, inspected and maintained in strict compliance with Administrative Rules enacted by Nevada’s alcohol testing program;
- Was the Intoxilyzer in proper working order or whether glitches were determined in tests taken prior to or after the breath test result in question;
- Whether the breath test technician was qualified by meeting all training and certification requirements;
- Whether the breath test in question was properly administered to the subject;
- Whether the breath test result on the Nevada Intoxilyzer 5000 was within a margin of error of 0.010 which would call into question the finding that the reading was over Nevada’s legal limit of 0.08%;
- Whether the slope detector was acting properly;
- Whether the instrument needed repairs or was recently repaired;
- Whether any fail safe flags indicated “INTERFERENT DETECTED” which might indicate the presence of isopropanol or methanol;
- Whether any fail safe flag indicated “INTERNAL FAILED” which would indicate that the internal standards measured outside of a 5% tolerance range;
- Whether the flow sensor properly measures a breath sample of at least 1.1 liters of breath;
- Whether the subject blew for at least one second;
- Whether the alcohol concentration slope began to level off;
- Whether the pressure reached an acceptable range of approximately 1″ of water;
- Whether the temperature monitoring system on the Intoxilyzer 5000EN was working properly showing that the simulator’s temperature was 34 degrees C (plus or minus 0.5).
Breath Tests and DUI Defense
If you are arrested within the parameters of Clark County, Nevada, and have submitted to a breath alcohol test, then contact an experienced our experienced DUI attorneys to discuss possible defenses. Even if the machine turns out to be positive, this does not mean that you can be convicted for DUI. We can show you how you can fight your DUI conviction
The new “EN” model was introduced by Nevada and was marketed as superior because it measures the volume of the person’s breath to determine whether the subject was really blowing to the machine with accuracy. This does not mean it is infallible, or that the law enforcement personnel using it is handling it correctly. Contact us to find out how you can defend against DUI charges as a result of positive breath tests.