Virginia DUI Breath Test Machine
The second thing the state tells, well it’s kind of a lie by omission, concerning breath temperature. Everything on the Intoxilyzer 5000 is temperature regulated. If you recall when you blew into the Intoxilyzer in the station, there was a jar there like a peanut butter jar filled with liquid. What that jar is filled with is what they call a simulator solution. That simulator solution is premixed to have an alcohol content of .10. And what they do is they will suck in an air sample above that solution, and run it as a test in the machine to make sure that the machine is measuring accurately.
Determining Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)
The thing about the solution, though, is that it has a thermometer in that solution called a temperature probe, to make sure that it’s at a certain temperature. This is a bottle of simulator solution. You’re not going to be able to read the numbers on camera, but it says, and you can look at it when you come to the office, it says when it’s used at 34 degrees centigrade. See, if you heat this simulator solution up hotter than 34 degrees what’s going to happen is that the air sample is going to have more ethanol molecules in it. Just like a pot of water on the stove, you heat a pot of water on the stove hotter; you’re going to get more H2O molecules rising up. So it’s critical that this solution be measured when it’s at 34 degrees centigrade.
Breath Test Machine Inaccuracies
Now the machine is assuming that your breath temperature when you blow into the machine is at 34 degrees centigrade. And it’s simply not true. I have studies that show that the average person’s breath temperature is 35.5 degrees centigrade. Even the states expert admits that for every degree that you are warmer than what the machine is assuming you to be, you are getting a 7-10% error on the certificate of analysis. In fact, the state of Alabama did a study. They had the Intoxilyzer 5000. They took peoples actual breath temperature and plugged that into the numbers into the formula, rather than assuming a 34 degrees centigrade number. When they did that, they found a 95% error rate. They replaced their machines. Now they have machines that actually measure your temperature.
So you have two assumptions in every breath test in Virginia. 1. Your partition ratio. 2. Is your temperature. If you’re down here, and you have a warmer temperature, the number of your sheet could be greatly elevated.
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