High fever can mean false results for your Intoxilyzer 8000D test
If you’ve ever listened to a police officer or a chemist for Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department testified about the Intoxilyzer 8000D machine, you’d think “Wow! This machine is amazing! It’s totally accurate.”
Unfortunately, for the police and even more unfortunately for society, the Intoxilyzer 8000D is prone to errors. Over the years, CMI, the manufacturer, has come out with new models the way Apple comes out with new iPhones. They claim that the latest is even more perfect in accuracy than its predecessor. But if it really was accurate, why would they need to make a new model?
Here’s a hypothetical. Let’s say for the sake of argument you have a pair of identical twins. And let’s assume that their body breaks down alcohol the same way and that their breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) are identical. Now let’s assume that they drink the same thing and eat the same thing. But, one of the twins has a slight fever. In this hypothetical, the twin with the fever will register higher on the Intoxilyzer than his twin without the fever. In other words, the Intoxilyzer will falsely give the fever-ridden brother a higher BrAC reading! So basically he’s getting punished for being sick!!
So why would the police and prosecutors use this machine if it’s not accurate? That’s because it’s easy to use and the results can be printed in a matter of minutes. It’s a choice law enforcement has made of expediency over accuracy. And that’s a scary thought. If you were pulled over and took the Intoxilyzer 8000D test while suffering from a cold or the flu, your reading was likely falsely high. This is one of the many ways the accuracy of the Intoxilyzer 8000D can be attacked.
John G. Watkins is widely considered to be the best DUI lawyer in Nevada. He and Michael D. Pariente devote the overwhelming majority of their practice to DUI defense.