Allegations of misuse of DUI machines at Hillsborough Jail

October 8th, 2009 by

Tampa, Florida – When a law enforcement officer arrests someone for DUI and takes them to the Hillsborough Orient Road Jail, we have seen there can be problems. Wanda Sullivan who was arrested for DUI found that out when she was pulled from a chair and dragged across the floor. However our 3 month investigation also shows there are problems with the way law enforcement authorities have used the breath testing machine, the Intoxilyzer 8000.

Meet DUI Consultant Stephen Daniels. We ran a control test with the Intoxilyzer 8000 and his blood alcohol was 000. Then we had Daniels eat wonder bread and he blew a .033

Although it is under the legal limit, Daniels was registering alcohol after eating bread.

Next we had Daniels gargle vodka and spit it out. After that he took the test and blew .209, almost 3 times the legal limit.

The alcohol the machine was measuring on Daniels, is what is called mouth alcohol not breath alcohol. That’s why the state requires a 20 minute waiting period before a test can be administered if some throws up.

Attorney Kevin Hayslett says alcohol from the stomach to the mouth if they blow into the machine results in inaccurate results.

Hayslett says the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office ignored that part of the law when they gave a woman we have surveillance video. The woman is given a breath test 7 minutes after she regurgitated. Then the Sheriff’s office continued giving her the breath test even after she threw up during the test.

Hayslett says the last thing you would expect to see is someone throwing up and then taking a breath test in seconds, because the operators know the test would be tainted.

This isn’t the first time the accuracy of the breath testing machines and the way the Florida Department of Law Enforcement monitors them has been called in to question. With the past year an inspector had to be dismissed after she was telling other police agencies how to get around the guidelines if the machine failed the state mandated test.

Defense Attorney Richard Hersch says they actually fudge the tests on the machines. We showed Hersch an inspection test from Hillsborough County on July 19 2007. The inspector logs in at 8:58 and then conducts that test a 9:06. The inspector then says the inspection was not complete because of a power failure. So, the inspector performs another test at 9:41, but then logs back in at 9:43. The FDLE says that’s impossible. You can’t inspect a machine after a power failure without re-logging in FIRST.

Hersch says by turning it off all the failed inspection data didn’t get written into memory and it disappears.

And that means a machine that could be out of tolerance could be used as evidence to convict you of a DUI if you are pulled over and possibly under the legal limit.

2 Responses

  1. Allegations of misuse of DUI machines at Hillsborough Jail | Bubba … | Dui Attorney

    [...] Complete News | Dui Florida Attorney [...]

  2. EvansMC

    That’s messed up, although it happens all the time. Being a former police officer, I saw that kind of stuff all the time. No one checks the certifications on the equipment.

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