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In Austin, TX, you may be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% or higher. For drivers under the age of 21, this percentage is much lower. To determine your BAC, the law enforcement agent may ask you to take a breath, blood, or urine test. Of the three, the breathalyzer test is the most common because it relatively simple to administer and the results show up quickly. However, even if you are charged with drunk driving after failing an Austin breathalyzer test, there are ways to fight your case.
The Intoxilyzer 5000 Breath Testing Device
Texas law enforcement agencies use the Intoxilyzer 5000 when determining a driver’s BAC. This machine uses a process called Infrared Spectrometry that analyzes your breath in order to estimate the ratio of alcohol to blood in your system.
When you blow into the Intoxilyzer 5000, your breath is collected in a sample chamber. A light bulb is located on one end of the chamber, while a light detector is located on the other end. The machine will first measure the amount of light that passes through without any alcohol present, and then compare that to the amount that passes through the chamber when your breath test sample is introduced. If there is any alcohol in the breath sample, it will absorb some of the light. The higher the concentration of alcohol in the breath sample, the less light will pass through.
The Intoxilyzer 5000 utilizes a computer chip that processes the test results in order to estimate BAC. However, because the manufacturer refuses to release the source code for this chip, the calculations the device uses to determine BAC is unknown.
The results of a breath test on the Intoxilyzer 5000 are not always accurate. Unfortunately, Texas refuses to keep samples of the breath test for future testing. Therefore, you need an experienced attorney who can review the administration, maintenance, and calibration of the breathalyzer test in order to determine if any errors were made.
Receive Experienced Legal Assistance
We understand the potential issues and weaknesses with the Austin breathalyzer test. Thanks to our strong investigation skills, we have successfully reduced many of our clients’ DWIs to lesser charges or even had them completely dismissed.