fbpx

Defending Against Breath Test Results in Florida



Understanding Breath Test Procedures in Florida

Before diving into defense strategies, it’s crucial to understand how breath tests are conducted in Florida. The Intoxilyzer 8000 is the most commonly used device, and its accuracy can significantly impact your DUI case. Officers must follow strict protocols during the testing process to ensure valid results. Any deviation from these procedures can provide grounds for challenging the breath test results in court.

Firstly, the breath test must be administered by a certified operator. This means the officer has undergone specific training and received certification to operate the Intoxilyzer 8000. Any lapse in this certification can be a potential defense point. Additionally, the machine itself must be regularly calibrated and maintained to ensure its accuracy. Calibration and maintenance logs are essential documents that can be reviewed for inconsistencies or lapses.

Moreover, there is a mandatory 20-minute observation period before the test is administered. This observation period is critical because it ensures that the subject has not ingested any substances that could affect the test results. If this observation period is not strictly adhered to, it can be a significant point of contention in court. For more details, you can refer to the 20-minute observation period requirements.

Another important aspect is the ambient conditions under which the test is conducted. Environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and the presence of certain chemicals can affect the accuracy of the breath test. Interferent detect errors are a common issue that can lead to false positives or skewed results. Understanding these environmental factors can help in formulating a robust defense strategy.

What is the Intoxilyzer 8000? The Intoxilyzer 8000 is a breathalyzer device used in Florida to measure blood alcohol concentration (BAC) through a breath sample. Its accuracy depends on regular calibration, proper maintenance, and certified operation.

The Role of the Intoxilyzer 8000

The Intoxilyzer 8000 measures blood alcohol concentration (BAC) through a breath sample. However, its accuracy can be influenced by various factors, including calibration, maintenance, and the operator’s training. Understanding these nuances can help in formulating a robust defense strategy.

One of the primary factors affecting the Intoxilyzer 8000’s accuracy is its calibration. The device must be calibrated regularly to ensure it provides accurate readings. Any deviation from the prescribed calibration schedule can lead to inaccurate results. This is why it’s crucial to review the accuracy and reliability of the device used in your case.

Maintenance is another critical factor. The Intoxilyzer 8000 must undergo routine maintenance checks to ensure all its components are functioning correctly. Any failure in the device’s maintenance can be a potential defense point. For instance, if the maintenance logs show lapses or irregularities, it can cast doubt on the reliability of the test results.

Lastly, the training and certification of the operator play a significant role. The officer administering the test must be adequately trained and certified to operate the Intoxilyzer 8000. Any lapses in the operator’s certification or training can be a point of contention in your defense. Understanding these nuances can significantly enhance your chances of a favorable outcome.

DUI Breath Test Device

By understanding the procedures and potential pitfalls associated with breath tests in Florida, you can better prepare yourself for the legal battle ahead. At Leppard Law, we specialize in identifying these weaknesses and using them to build a strong defense for our clients. If you have any questions or need legal assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Common Errors in Breath Test Results

Breath test results are not infallible and can be subject to numerous errors. Identifying these errors is essential for building a strong defense. Common issues include improper calibration, operator error, and environmental factors that can skew results. Each of these errors can be used to question the validity of the breath test in court.

Criminal Lawyer Books

Improper Calibration and Maintenance

The Intoxilyzer 8000 requires regular calibration and maintenance to ensure accurate readings. If the device is not properly maintained, its results can be challenged. Reviewing maintenance logs and calibration records can provide evidence of potential inaccuracies.

Calibration is critical for ensuring the Intoxilyzer 8000 provides accurate readings. Calibration involves setting the device to known standards to ensure its measurements are correct. If the device is not calibrated correctly, it can provide false readings, which can be grounds for challenging the test results. Regular maintenance is equally important as it ensures all components of the device are functioning properly. Any lapses in maintenance can lead to inaccuracies in the breath test results.

For example, if the device has not been calibrated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, its readings may be skewed. Similarly, if the device has not been maintained correctly, it may not function as intended. Reviewing the calibration and maintenance records of the device used in your case can provide evidence of potential inaccuracies.

Operator Error

Operator error is another common issue that can affect breath test results. The Intoxilyzer 8000 must be operated by a certified individual who follows specific procedures. Any deviation from these procedures can lead to inaccurate results. For instance, if the operator fails to observe the mandatory 20-minute observation period before administering the test, the results may be invalid. This observation period is crucial as it ensures that no foreign substances are present in the mouth that could affect the test results.

Additionally, the operator must follow specific steps when administering the test. Any deviation from these steps can lead to inaccuracies. For instance, if the operator does not instruct the individual to blow into the device correctly, it can lead to a “volume not met” error, which can skew the results. Understanding the common errors associated with the Intoxilyzer 8000 can help identify potential issues with your test results.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors can also affect breath test results. The Intoxilyzer 8000 is sensitive to various environmental conditions, including temperature, humidity, and the presence of certain chemicals. These factors can lead to inaccurate readings. For instance, if the device is used in an environment with high humidity, it can affect the accuracy of the test results. Similarly, the presence of certain chemicals, such as acetone, can lead to false positives.

Understanding how environmental factors can impact breath test results is crucial for building a strong defense. By reviewing the conditions under which the test was administered, you can identify potential issues that may have affected the accuracy of the results. For instance, if the test was conducted in a poorly ventilated area, it could have affected the readings. Similarly, if the device was exposed to extreme temperatures, it could have impacted its accuracy.

Moreover, the Intoxilyzer 8000 has a feature known as “interferent detect,” which identifies substances that can interfere with the test results. However, this feature is not foolproof and can sometimes fail to detect certain substances. Understanding how interferent detect errors can affect your test results is crucial for building a robust defense.

What is a “volume not met” error? A “volume not met” error occurs when the individual does not provide an adequate breath sample for the Intoxilyzer 8000 to analyze. This can lead to inaccurate or invalid test results.

By identifying and understanding these common errors, you can challenge the accuracy and validity of your breath test results in court. At Leppard Law, we specialize in scrutinizing these details to build a strong defense for our clients. If you have any questions or need legal assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Medical and Physiological Factors Affecting Breath Test Results

Various medical and physiological conditions can affect breath test results. Conditions such as GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), diabetes, and even certain diets can lead to falsely elevated BAC readings. Understanding these factors can be crucial for your defense.

Impact of GERD and Other Medical Conditions

GERD can cause alcohol from the stomach to be present in the mouth, leading to an artificially high BAC reading. Similarly, diabetics can produce acetone, which can be misinterpreted as alcohol by the breathalyzer. Highlighting these conditions can cast doubt on the breath test results.

GERD, or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, is a condition where stomach acid frequently flows back into the tube connecting your mouth and stomach (esophagus). This backwash can cause alcohol from the stomach to be present in the mouth during a breath test, leading to an artificially high BAC reading. For more detailed information, you can read about how GERD affects breathalyzer results.

Diabetes is another condition that can interfere with breath test results. Diabetics can produce acetone, a type of ketone, which can be misinterpreted as alcohol by the breathalyzer. This is particularly common in diabetics who are experiencing ketoacidosis, a serious condition resulting from extremely high blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, it’s crucial to inform your attorney, as this can be a significant factor in your defense. For more insights, check out our article on how medical conditions can skew breath test results.

How Diet Can Influence Breath Test Results

Believe it or not, your diet can also affect breath test results. Low-carb diets, such as the ketogenic diet, can cause the body to produce more ketones, which can be mistaken for alcohol by breathalyzers. This can be a crucial point in your defense if you follow such a diet. Additionally, certain foods and beverages can contain small amounts of alcohol, which can contribute to a higher BAC reading. Understanding these dietary influences can help in challenging the breath test results.

For example, low-carb diets like the ketogenic diet can cause the body to enter a state of ketosis, where it burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. This process produces ketones, which can be detected as alcohol by some breathalyzers. If you follow a low-carb diet, this could be a significant factor in your defense. Learn more about the impact of diet on breath test results in our comprehensive guide.

Medications and Their Effects on Breath Tests

Various medications can also influence breath test results. Over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs, and even certain supplements can contain alcohol or other substances that may affect BAC readings. It’s essential to provide a full list of any medications you are taking to your attorney, as this information can be used to challenge the breath test results. For example, some cough syrups and mouthwashes contain alcohol, which can result in a false positive on a breathalyzer test.

Furthermore, certain prescription medications can have side effects that mimic intoxication, such as dizziness or impaired coordination. These side effects can be misinterpreted by law enforcement officers during a DUI stop. If you believe your medication may have influenced your breath test results, it’s crucial to discuss this with your attorney. For more information on how medications can affect breath test results, read our article on the margin of error in DUI breath tests.

What is GERD? GERD, or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, is a chronic digestive disorder where stomach acid or bile irritates the food pipe lining, potentially affecting breath test results by causing alcohol to be present in the mouth.

By understanding these medical and physiological factors, you can better challenge the accuracy and validity of your breath test results. At Leppard Law, we specialize in identifying and leveraging these nuances to build a robust defense for our clients. If you have any questions or need legal assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us.


When facing DUI charges in Florida, understanding the legal defenses available to challenge breath test results is crucial. These defenses can range from procedural errors to questioning the reliability of the breathalyzer itself. By leveraging these legal avenues, you can significantly enhance your chances of a favorable outcome.

Challenging the Reliability of the Breathalyzer

One effective defense strategy is to question the reliability of the breathalyzer used. The Intoxilyzer 8000, the most commonly used breathalyzer in Florida, is not immune to errors. Scrutinizing the device’s maintenance records, the operator’s training, and any potential software or hardware issues can cast doubt on the reliability of the breathalyzer. For more information, read about the accuracy and reliability of breathalyzers.

Moreover, the breathalyzer’s calibration and maintenance are critical factors. If the device was not properly maintained or calibrated, its results can be challenged. Reviewing the maintenance logs and calibration records can provide evidence of potential inaccuracies. Learn more about the impact of calibration and maintenance on DUI breath tests.

What is the Intoxilyzer 8000? The Intoxilyzer 8000 is a breathalyzer device used by law enforcement to measure blood alcohol concentration (BAC) from a breath sample.

Another aspect to consider is the operator’s training. The person administering the test must follow strict protocols to ensure valid results. Any deviation from these procedures can be grounds for challenging the breath test results in court. For more details, see our article on the proper setup of the Intoxilyzer 8000.

Legal Defenses Against Breath Test Results

Procedural Errors During the Test

Procedural errors during the administration of the breath test can also be a strong defense. Officers are required to follow specific protocols, including a 20-minute observation period before conducting the test. Any failure to adhere to these protocols can be used to challenge the validity of the test results. To understand the importance of this, read about Florida’s 20-minute observation period requirements.

Additionally, the presence of interferents in the breath sample can lead to inaccurate results. Substances like mouthwash, certain medications, or even environmental factors can interfere with the breathalyzer’s readings. Highlighting these potential interferents can cast doubt on the accuracy of the results. For more information, check out our guide on interferent detect errors.

Medical and Physiological Factors

Medical and physiological conditions can also affect breath test results. Conditions such as GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) and diabetes can lead to falsely elevated BAC readings. GERD can cause alcohol from the stomach to be present in the mouth, resulting in an artificially high BAC reading. Similarly, diabetics can produce acetone, which can be misinterpreted as alcohol by the breathalyzer. Highlighting these conditions can cast doubt on the breath test results. For more insights, read about how GERD affects breathalyzer results.

Additionally, certain diets, particularly low-carb diets, can produce chemicals like acetone, which can be mistaken for alcohol by the breathalyzer. Understanding these factors can be crucial for your defense. For more details, see our article on how diet and medical conditions can skew breath test results.

Using Expert Witnesses

Expert witnesses can play a crucial role in challenging breath test results. They can provide testimony on the reliability of breathalyzer tests, the impact of medical conditions, and the proper procedures for conducting these tests. For instance, a breath test expert can scrutinize the calibration and setup of the breathalyzer used in your case. To understand how experts can help, read our article on breath test experts.

Additionally, experts can help in understanding complex concepts like retrograde extrapolation, which can be used to estimate your BAC at the time of driving based on a later test. For a straightforward explanation, check out our guide to retrograde extrapolation.

Furthermore, experts can also address issues related to the chain of custody of the evidence. Any breaks in the chain of custody can lead to questions about the integrity of the evidence. For more on this, read about the chain of custody in DUI cases.

Conclusion

Facing a DUI charge in Florida can be daunting, but understanding your legal defenses can make a significant difference. From challenging the accuracy of breathalyzer tests to questioning procedural errors, there are numerous strategies that can be employed. At Leppard Law, we specialize in crafting personalized defense strategies tailored to your unique situation. If you or a loved one is facing a DUI charge, don’t hesitate to contact us at 407-476-4111 for a free consultation. Our experienced DUI attorneys are here to help you navigate the legal landscape and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

For more information on defending against DUI charges, visit our comprehensive guide on how to beat your DUI case.

Remember, your defense starts with a single call. Contact us today at 407-476-4111.


Infographic depicting the words Defending Against Breath Test Results in Florida


What can cause a false positive on a breathalyzer test?

Several factors can cause a false positive on a breathalyzer test. These include medical conditions like GERD, certain diets, and the use of mouthwash or medications containing alcohol. Additionally, environmental factors such as the presence of chemicals or fumes can also affect the test results. For more details, see our article on how diet and medical conditions can skew breath test results.

How can I challenge the calibration of a breathalyzer?

To challenge the calibration of a breathalyzer, you can request the device’s maintenance and calibration records. If the device was not properly maintained or calibrated according to the manufacturer’s specifications, its results can be deemed unreliable. Reviewing these records can provide evidence of potential inaccuracies. Learn more about the impact of calibration and maintenance on DUI breath tests.

What is the 20-minute observation period in Florida DUI cases?

In Florida DUI cases, the 20-minute observation period is a mandatory protocol where the officer must observe the suspect for 20 minutes before administering the breath test. This is to ensure that the suspect does not ingest anything, vomit, or burp, which could affect the test results. Any failure to adhere to this protocol can be used to challenge the validity of the breath test results. For more information, read about Florida’s 20-minute observation period requirements.

Can medical conditions affect breathalyzer results?

Yes, medical conditions such as GERD and diabetes can affect breathalyzer results. GERD can cause alcohol from the stomach to be present in the mouth, leading to an artificially high BAC reading. Similarly, diabetics can produce acetone, which can be misinterpreted as alcohol by the breathalyzer. Highlighting these conditions can cast doubt on the breath test results. For more insights, read about how GERD affects breathalyzer results.

Explore additional areas we serve to understand how we can assist you with various legal matters:

DUI Breath Testing Essentials Intoxilyzer 8000 Calibration
Intoxilyzer 8000 Setup Intoxilyzer 8000 Errors
Interferent Detect Errors Volume Not Met Error
Retrograde Extrapolation Guide Diet and Breath Tests
Breathalyzer Accuracy Blowing After DUI Arrest
Breath Test Margin of Error Breath Test Experts
Presumption vs Per Se DUI 20-Minute Observation Period
GERD and Breathalyzers Defending Breath Test Results

Top-Rated DUI Lawyers Serving Florida

Looking for the best DUI lawyers in Florida? Our distinguished team of attorneys is committed to offering you the best possible defense against your DUI charges.

  • John Vallillo: As a stalwart in the Florida legal scene, John Vallillo has earned his stripes through a consistent record of case dismissals and proactive defense. His background as both a prosecutor and defense attorney enriches his strategic defense planning with invaluable insights.
  • Joe Easton: Renowned for crafting winning defenses, Joe Easton’s approach to legal advocacy in Florida combines thorough preparation with aggressive representation. His notable recognitions and ratings stand testament to his exceptional service and client-focused approach.
  • Joel Leppard: Joel Leppard infuses every DUI case with a level of personal commitment and innovative thinking that sets him apart. His leadership has not only grown Leppard Law into a top-rated criminal defense law firm but also ensured that clients receive empathetic, effective legal care.

Discover What Our Clients Are Saying

At the forefront of our DUI practice is a deep-seated commitment to client satisfaction. Each case is handled with utmost care, as echoed in the appreciative feedback from those we represent. Stellar reviews are what make us one of Central Florida’s top-rated DUI law firms. You can read more 5-star reviews here.

Take the First Step Towards Your Defense

What does it look like to have a personal relationship with your attorney? Someone who has your back when things get tough? A lawyer that knows you as well as they know your case? At Leppard Law, we treat our clients like family. We always put their best interests first and fight for the best possible outcome for their case.

But you don’t have to take our word for it – experience it for yourself. If you or a loved one have been charged with a criminal offense, contact us today to schedule a free consultation. 407-476-4111

Leppard Law has been recognized for our dedication and excellence:

  • Named as one of the “Top Personal Injury Lawyers in Orlando, FL” for 2023 by Expertise
  • Highlighted among the “Top Personal Injury Attorneys near Sanford, FL” for 2023 by Thumbtack
  • Listed among the “Best Car Accident Lawyers in Sanford” from 2016-2023 by Expertise
  • Awarded SuperLawyers “Rising Star” by SuperLawyers in 2019-2020
  • Ranked among the “Best Lawyers in Orlando, FL” by BirdsEye in 2019

At Leppard Law, we take immense pride in helping our clients navigate through some of life’s most challenging moments. Your trust and support have fueled our commitment to excellence, and we’re honored to be a part of our shared community. While we hope you never face a criminal charge, we want you to know that if the need arises, we’re here for you.

ONE call to our top-rated criminal defense attorneys can make all the difference. Schedule your consultation today, and let us provide the support and legal expertise you deserve.

Leppard Law: DUI Attorneys
407-476-4111

Trusted Content

Legally Reviewed by Joe Easton

Expert Florida DUI Attorney

Legally reviewed by Joe Easton and the content team, this article reflects the firm’s 60 years of combined criminal defense expertise. Joe Easton, with his extensive experience and strategic prowess in DUI and criminal defense, offers more than just legal representation; he brings a commitment to turning legal challenges into triumphs. His approach, combining tenacity in the courtroom with personalized client care, ensures your DUI case is not just defended but championed with dedication and expertise.

Learn More About Joe Easton