RFI and EMI can interfere with electrical equipment.
The EC/IR II is advertised as not being affected by RFI or EMI. Unfortunately, that is not correct. While the Fuel Cell (EC) component is somewhat shielded, the Infrared (IR) component is not shielded at all. Persons who have tested the device for susceptibility to RFI and EMI admit that the results can be changed by the presence of electrical and radio waves.
In Virginia these devices are kept at jails, police stations and sheriff's departments. They are in close proximity to the communications systems, electronic locking doors, cell phones, radio towers, alarms, radios, pdas, microwaves and other RFI /EMI emitting devices. Under these conditions, the validity of the EC/IR result is predicated on the nonexistant immunity to RFI/ EMI. Under these conditions, the results cannot be trusted especially in a criminal context requiring proof beyond any reasonable doubt.See question
Virginia law is different than many other states as to what constitutes reckless driving, a class one misdemeanor.
In a 65mph zone in Virginia, you are commiting reckless driving by speed at 81mph or faster.See question
The old and the new breath boxes in Virginia.
The Intoxilyzer 5000 (I5000) relied upon infrared (IR) to determine the breath alcohol content. The EC/IR II relies upon a fuel cell (EC) to determine breath alcohol. Virginia has completely replaced the I5000s with the new devices this year. The I5000s should have been replaced at least five years earlier. The reliability of the I5000 was hampered by lack of proper replacement parts and the use of Chinese knockoff parts in their place. One I5000 recorded a breath alcohol content of over 0.60 for a subject who was blood tested two hours later and showed zero alcohol. The EC/IR II, according to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science, is no more accurate than the replaced I5000.See question
The police say it cannot be used against you. Are there times it can be used?
Absolutely! If you blow into the hand held breath tester, also called the preliminary breath tester, and it shows positive for any alcohol that is probable cause to arrest for DUI in Virginia. The Officer can then use that result in any hearing to determine whether there was probable cause to arrest. It can and will be used against you if needed. The Officers and Prosecutors also use that information in evaluating your case.
Blow into the PBT and go to jail in Virginia.See question
Certain driving behaviors are seen as clues or cues of impaired driving. My question is whether speeding is such a cue or clue?
Speeding is NOT a clue or cue of impaired driving. The speed limits are set to allow safe handling by an average driver.
NHTSA recognized that most impaired drivers drive slower not faster.
Speeding without an signs of impairment is evidence that the driver is not impaired.See question
If someone is in ketoacidosis can the new breath tester tell the difference?
NO. Diabetics produce isopropanol in certain stages of the disease. The EC/IR II thinks this isopropranol is ethanol (drinking alcohol) and scores it accordingly. This limitation of Virginia's new breath box results in false arrests and convictions of diabetics who the gizmo falsely identifies as drunks.
Given the fact that one out of seven drivers is diabetic this limitation can have serious and far reaching consequences. After all, an illness is not a crime.
The manufacturer admitted that the device could not differentiate between the alcohols during the bidding process. However, Virginia choose to cover up this flaw; Virginia even falsified its operator's manual to hide the defect.
The only fair test that diabetics can get in Virginia to determine BAC is a blood test.See question
I have been on probation for 2 of 3 years so far for being convicted of a DUI. The other day I was charged with an underage possession charge. I was wondering about what the possible consequences would be, if I need to get a lawyer, etc.
The underage possession charge will be considered a violation of your probation for the DUI. The Court could very well have you serve some or all of that suspended time. You definitely need to hire an attorney to represent you on the underage possession charge. You also have an obligation to inform your VASAP case manager of the new charge.See question
How are these machines different?
In April, 2008, Virginia chose to go with the cheapest breath box available, the EC/IR II. The EC/IR II was originally intended to perform two tests on the breath sample to determine the BAC. The two tests would be electro-chemical (EC) and infrared (IR). The manufacturer could never get the two tests to agree so it turned off the IR for BAC testing purposes.
The EC/IR II uses the EC or fuel cell to quantify the BAC. The fuel cell is specific to alcohols, not just ethanol.
The old breath box was the Intoxilyzer 5000 which only used infrared technology. The Intoxilyzer 5000 was more accurate than the EC/IR II as it is presently configured in detecting mouth alcohol. Mouth alcohol is alcohol from the stomach contents that can give a false positive or inflated BAC on these evidentiary breath boxes.See question
Is it in my best interests to do the field tests if I have been stopped for DUI in Virginia?
You should always refuse the field tests. "I do not consent to these tests." Most sober people fail these tests. I have seen a number of people who had no drugs or alcohol in their systems who "failed" these tests.
The field tests are designed to fail you. While the scientific validation studies were all about proving blood alcohol content (BAC) not impairment, the tests are used to show impairment. Standing on one leg, walking heel to toe, counting backwards, touching your nose, counting fingers are all unnatural acts that appear to indicate impairment.
A study was done in which experienced police officers were show videos of sober people and asked to identifiy the intoxicated people. The police identified 16% of the sobers as intoxicated as the test subjects performed ordinary tasks. The police identified 47% of the sobers as intoxicated as the test subjects performed the unnatural field tests. Just say no to the field tests.See question
If I am pulled over and am suspected of DUI or DWI should I blow into the hand held preliminary breath tester?
You should never blow into the hand held breath tester in Virginia. These gadgets are notoriously unreliable and can be adjusted upwards by merely turning a screw on the side of the device.
In Virginia if you blow positive for alcohol that established probable cause to arrest you for DWI/DUI. Despite what the officer may say, it can and will be used against you in Court to establish probable cause to arrest. The officer will tell the Judge that he gave it to you which implicitly says you failed the test.
The hand held device should not be confused with the evidentiary breath tester that will be sitting on a table and looks like a typewriter. Blowing into that machine is required under DWI/DUI implied consent.See question