Defense challenge of DUI breath tests spreading across Florida

Defense challenge of DUI breath tests spreading across Florida

SARASOTA COUNTY — A local challenge to the state's alcohol breath-test machine is spreading across the state, now that the Florida Supreme Court affirmed lower court decisions in Sarasota that make it more difficult to convict DUI defendants.

Prosecutors from two other counties called the Sarasota County State Attorney's Office last week to report that defense attorneys there are mimicking a legal battle over the Intoxilyzer 8000, the only machine approved for use in the state, prosecutor Erica Arend said Friday.

Prosecutors have been forced to plead down or in some cases dismiss hundreds of DUI arrests over the past few years in which the breath-test is the most powerful evidence against a defendant.

Judges in Sarasota and Manatee counties have ruled that DUI defendants are entitled to examine the computer code inside the Intoxilyzer 8000 to see how it works.

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