Broward DUI Task Force to install Intoxilyzer 8000s in Patrol Cars?

DUI investigations in Broward County Florida have troubled Sergeants due to the time that it takes a detective to conduct an adequate investigation under Florida law. According to attorney William R. Moore, investigations typically take about 6 hours. A majority of this time is spent transporting a suspect to the Breath Alcohol Testing Facility. Once at the BAT facility, it is a fairly lengthy process before the individual is tested. As a result, perhaps due to the lack of funding, we have seen less DUI arrests and a drastic reduction in the number of DUI Task Force Detectives.

An arrest is required prior to requesting and administering breath tests.

Many people believe that officers test individuals at the scene using portable breath testing equipment which hasn’t been the case until now. Florida has only authorized the use of CMI’s Intoxilyzer 8000 for use in testing a suspect’s breath/blood alcohol level and this device is not conducive to being housed in a vehicle. Under Florida law, Intoxilyzers must be kept in a secure environment that is clean, dry and free from airborne chemicals such as ethanol. Criminal defense attorneys have understood these requirements to be the rationale behind officers not having them installed into the patrol cars of DUI Task Force Members.

A pilot test of “in-car breathtesting”

Despite regulation tending to restrict the use of breath testing equipment in police cruisers, one DUI Investigator in Broward County is utilizing an Intoxilyzer 8000 which has been specially mounted in his patrol car to make arrests. The reason for which is undoubtedly to cut down the time required to conduct a full DUI investigation through utilization of the Breath Alcohol Testing Facility. It is estimated that, should in car breath testing be permitted, DUI investigations could be cut from 6 hours to under an hour and a half.