Drivers in Florida have been arrested and convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) based on defective alcohol breath test machines, according to the Herald-Tribune.
The problem has been going on for years, the newspaper reports. The machine, called the Intoxilyzer 8000, inaccurately measured the amount of breath blown into them. The article notes state officials did not test a key component of the machine, or perform required reviews of each breath test.
The machines have been used to perform thousands of breath tests since 2006. Inspectors are now checking every machine, and so far this year have found about 40 percent of 231 machines were not working properly.
This week, prosecutors announced they have decided not to use alcohol breath-test results in about 100 DUI cases in two Florida counties after learning about problems with the machines.
Defendants in those cases are being notified the machines they were tested on were not working properly, so the results will not be used as evidence against them. Cases will be pursued if there is other evidence the driver was driving under the influence.
The problem with the machines was first noticed by defense attorneys in Venice, who discovered the machines produced breath volumes that are not humanly possible.