DUI arrests in South Florida are under suspicion as a result of allegations that an Inspector at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), the government agency that oversees the maintenance of Breathalyzer machines, failed to follow protocol when testing faulty machines.
Defense attorneys say it is a scandal that raises questions about thousands of DUI cases in Monroe, Broward and Miami Dade counties, and they are right. According to CBS 4 in Miami, the Breath Test operator, Suzanne Veiga, encouraged police agencies to abort tests on Intoxilyzer 8000 machines that were giving questionable results, would unplug the machine if the inspection was failing, and then plug the machine back in to prevent the machines from reporting the malfunctions to Tallahassee.
The Intoxilyzer 8000 is the only breath test machine approved for use in Florida and there are more than 300 in use statewide.
The whole purpose of the breath testing protocol is to insure that the Intoxilyzers are working correctly and rendering accurate Breath Alcohol Content (BAC) levels. By keeping malfunctioning machines in police stations, this FDLE inspector has jeopardized the prosecution of thousands of DUI defendants, not to mention potentially causing the arrest of innocent people for drunk driving. My guess is that many of these DUI cases will be broken down to Reckless Driving charges or dismissed outright- it will be too hard for State Attorneys to overcome the presumption that the “faulty” Instruments involved in those arrests rendered invalid results, since they were never properly tested by Veiga.
If you or a loved on has been charged with DUI please contact Florida DUI Attorney Jason M. Melton at 866-608-5LAW (5529) to discuss your case.