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Ohio’s Intoxilyzer 8000 Breath Test Machine Found Unreliable in Court


Posted on Aug 22, 2012

In an August 2012 investigation report, the reliability of the newly acquired Intoxilyzer 8000 machine has been called into question in Ohio DUI/OVI cases.

Five years ago, Ohio purchased over 800 units of the Intoxilyzer 8000 in an effort to upgrade the machines in use at that time and to make the testing of people suspected of DUI/OVI more reliable. The new machines were made available to all Ohio law enforcement and State Highway Patrol entities.

However, some are saying that the Intoxilyzer 8000 has serious problems in accuracy and software issues.

In a June 2012 case in Painesville Municipal Court, Judge Michael Cicconetti did not allow the Intoxilyzer 8000 results to be admissible, saying that the machine “does not appear to be accurate and reliable in the courts of Ohio.”

In fact, dozens of Ohio judges have come to the same conclusion since the introduction of this controversial machine into law enforcement. Reasons cited include erratic and sometimes inaccurate readings and failing software.

One Cleveland defense attorney, Joseph Patituce, said, “I’ve had clients who have blown into the machine and the results have an alcohol level so high they would be dead.”

However, the state of Ohio disagrees and cites studies by the U.S. Department of Transportation to uphold their defense of the machine.

Meanwhile, several Lake County cities have stopped using the Intoxilyzer 8000 until the legal issues are sorted out. One attorney, Kenneth Bossin, sums up the current defense opinion, “This isn’t about a bunch of lawyers trying to keep drunk drivers off the road. This is about the state spending millions of dollars on a machine that doesn’t work right and is unreliable.”

At Nemann Law Offices, we believe that driving while impaired in Ohio should never be done, but we also realize that the important rights of citizens cannot be left to the meters of a defective machine. The Intoxilyzer 8000 is simply not reliable enough for Ohio courtrooms.

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