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New Mobile Breath Testing Machine in Benton County

This is the Intox EC/IR II breath testing instrument. It is made by a company called Intoximeter, and is the instrument used all around Arkansas to test the breath of suspected drunk drivers. These instruments have to be certified, calibrated, and properly maintained and operated for its analysis of one's breath to be used against them in court.

You may have heard that roadside breath tests, also known as portable (or preliminary) breath tests (PBTs), are not admissible in court. This is true; a PBT test given to a suspected drunk driver on the side of the road cannot be used as evidence against the person in court. Actually, the blood alcohol content (BAC) reading it produces cannot be testified to in court; the fact that a BAC was given in the first place can be stated. But the reason these PBT results cannot be stated is because the instruments have not been certified and properly calibrated enough to be considered reliable evidence. So anytime an officer arrested someone for driving while intoxicated (DWI) they had to wait until they arrived at the police station to administer a certified breath test, thereby allowing enough time to pass in some cases that a person's BAC fell below the legal limit.

Not anymore. As of late last month, the Benton County Sheriff's Office acquired the State's first certified mobile BAC tester. It's basically the same as the instrument pictured above, which is the same as what is at the police station. But now the instrument has been certified to ride around in the back of a police vehicle for the administration of BAC tests on the side of the road, eliminating the drive time back to the police station. This is likely to result in evidence much stronger for the State to prosecute DWIs, because fewer people are likely to have their blood alcohol level fall below the legal limit quick enough to perhaps be used as a defense in their DWI case.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for DWI, talk to a knowledgeable defense attorney. The defense of a DWI is becoming harder and harder, so it's important that you have the best available defense at your side to make sure nothing gets missed.