Breath tests in Texas are done on an Intoxilyzer 5000 or 9000 machine. The machine is maintained by a technical supervisor licensed by the Office of the State Scientific Director. The Intoxilizer machines are manufactured by a company called CMI. CMI has had an order against it for over a year to release the technical code for how their machine interprets the data and reduces it to the value reported. As you can imagine, their refusal to give over this information is a critical fact we bring up to attack the breath testing program.
Another critical fact we bring up to attack breath testing in Texas is choices that the Office of the Scientific Director have made. The Intoxilyzer 9000 is programmed to collect a large amount of data during the time a person is giving a sample. Many of these data points were created to ensure that the instrument was working properly on the night in question. Texas, acting through the office of the Scientific director, has asked CMI to turn off a number of these data points being recorded or reported. Think about that. The government who wants you to believe the machine is always working turned off key indicators that the machine might not be working.
One of the experts I hire on a case-by-case basis is a former technical supervisor who left after exposing several scientific weaknesses of the breath testing program. It is important when choosing a lawyer to make sure they understand the science of these machines.
While Breath testing in DWI cases has been standard for about 40 years or so, Blood testing on DWIs is a somewhat newer phenomenon. As it is newer, each county has a slightly different procedure for how they take a person's blood.
A blood draw can be done either through a person consenting to the draw, or through a warrant. Blood draws should be done by a trained person. That means it ought to be done by either a nurse or a phlebotomist (a trained blood taker). If the officer is the one who took your blood that is something we need to know early in the case.
How the blood was taken from you matters. If the nurse used too small or too big a needle it can change the pressure at which the blood goes into the vial. That pressure, if too high, can crush the red blood cells and elevate the resulting blood alcohol level. If too low, it can cause there to be an insufficient amount of blood to be drawn into the vial. Also if you have bruising around the area where the nurse drew your blood, take photos immediately. This bruising is proof that the blood collected is not from your vein, but from the surrounding muscle. If that happens it can contain chemicals which can elevate your blood alcohol level.
There are so many other areas to question when it comes to the blood draw. Did they use the correct type of vial? Did they correctly invert the vial according to the manufacturer? Was the vial properly stored and refrigerated before it was evaluated? And all of that is before the blood even gets to the lab to be sampled. Trust me when I tell you that this adds several dozen other areas of concern. If your case relies on attacking a blood sample, you should hire a lawyer scientist like RC.
They also have a sample saved so that a lawyer who understands DWI cases can choose to send it to a lab to be re-tested. There are a number of things that can change the integrity of a blood test result, so it’s important to pick a lawyer who understands the science of blood testing.
I Am Your Scientific Lawyer
If you have a case involving breath or blood testing, you need a lawyer who understands the limitations of blood tests and the science of a breathalyzer machine. You also need a lawyer who knows how to attack all the different elements of the evidentiary process. Contact my office if you have ANY questions concerning these tests.