Breath Machines

breath machines

A person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) can be proven in Texas through breath machine test results, such as those from the Intoxilyzer 5000. A suspected drunk driver breathes into a tube on the Intoxilyzer device, which leads into a breath chamber cylinder. Infrared light is then beamed through this cylinder, causing the alcohol molecules to absorb the light at a certain frequency. The machine computes this frequency into a BAC measurement.

Because the Intoxilyzer 5000 uses complex calculations to convert the light reading into BAC, its use is controversial. Supporters claim it reads only light absorbed by alcohol, while skeptics insist the device misreads other substances in the breath as alcohol, which in turn erroneously inflates the BAC reading.

If you’ve been charged with a Texas DWI as the result of an Intoxilyzer 5000 test, your freedom and your future may be in jeopardy. You need the Austin, TX DWI defense attorneys at Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C. We have successfully challenged many breath test results, and we may be able to help you. Call us today at (512) 476-4873 or contact us through our online form. We have helped clients charged with a DWI or a DUI in Hays, Bastrop, Caldwell, Burnet, Comal, Travis and Williamson counties. We will defend your rights and reputation.

Texas Breath Machine Law

In Texas, the Intoxilyzer 5000 result will be accepted in court if the machine performs within a plus or minus 10% accuracy rate. So, if you are stopped for suspected drunk driving and asked to submit to a breath test, you could have a BAC reading of .08 or higher and be deemed legally intoxicated even though your actual alcohol level was lower.

The Intoxilyzer 5000 operates under the assumption that everyone’s ratio of blood to breath is the same. But in reality, some people may have lower levels, which can cause the test to register a higher BAC result. You could also have a higher BAC reading if you:

  • Have a fever at the time of the test or if your normal body temperature varies from 98.6 degrees;
  • Belch, burp, vomit or hiccup before you take the test; or
  • Take the test while having blood in your mouth.

There are other physiological reasons you may not operate under the assumption made by the manufacturers of the Intoxilyzer 5000.

The Texas drunk driving attorneys at Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C., believe your freedom and privilege to drive shouldn’t be taken away from you simply because of a flawed machine. We often contest these results and place the device’s reliability on trial.