Breath Test Machines

Except for one state, every state in the union and the federal government use evidentiary breath testing devices in determining if a person is under the influence of alcohol.  There are many defenses and issues with breath testing devices which is one of the reasons it is important to consult with a qualified DUI attorney if you are charged with a crime based on a breath test result.  The purpose of this page is to provide a little background and history.

Breath testing research dates to 1874.  However, the first introduction of results as evidence being introduced before a court was in 1927 where an English police surgeon testified that a person was 50% drunk based on him blowing into a football bladder. In 1957, Robert Borkenstein developed a machine to test for alcohol using chemical oxidation and photometry. 

The modern breath testing machines use one or both of two different technology; infrared spectrophotometer or electrochemical fuel cell.  Neither directly measure blood alcohol content but rely upon estimating blood alcohol content indirectly by measuring the amount of alcohol in the testing subject’s breath.

Even these modern devices are machines and are subject to error and interferents causing inaccurate or false readings.  These errors can be caused by calibration issues, non=specific analysis issues, interfering substances, mouth alcohol issues, homeostatic variables, retrograde extrapolation issues, and testing while the person is in the absorptive phase.

The federal government has a list of approved devices.  The following is a list of state approved devices:

  • Alabama-DataMaster DMT-FC, Drager 7110
  • Alaska-Datamaster DMT
  • Arizona-Intoxilyzer 8000
  • Arkansas-Intoximater EC/IR II
  • California-Drager 7110, 7510, 9510  Intoxilyzer 5000, 8000  Intoximeters EC/IR II, AlcoSensor IVxl, AlcoSensor Vxl  Datamaster DMT
  • Colorado-Intoxilyzer 9000
  • Connecticut-Drager Alcotest 3510
  • Delaware-Intoxilyzer 5000
  • Florida-Intoxilyzer 8000
  • Georgia-Intoxilyzer 9000
  • Hawaii-Intoxilyzer 8000
  • Idaho-Intoxilyzer 5000, Lifeloc FC20, Drager AlcoTest 9510
  • Illinois- Intoximeter EC/IR and EC/IR II
  • Indiana-BAC Datamaster  ECIR II
  • Iowa-Datamaster DMT
  • Kansas-Intoxilyzer 9000
  • Kentucky-Intoxilyzer 5000EN
  • Louisiana-Intoxilyzer 5000, 9000
  • Maine-Intoxilyzer 8000
  • Maryland-EC/IR 2
  • Massachusetts-Drager 9510
  • Michigan-DataMaster DMT
  • Minnesota-DataMaster DMT-G
  • Mississippi-Intoxilyzer 8000
  • Missouri-Alco-Sensor IV, Intoxilyzer EC/IR II, DataMaster DMT, Intoxilyzer 5000 and 8000
  • Montana-Intoxilyzer 8000
  • Nebraska-Datamaster CDM, DMT and Intoximeter
  • Nevada-Intoxilyzer 8000
  • New Hampshire-Intoxilyzer 5000EN
  • New Jersey-Drager Alcotest 7110MkIII, Drager Alcotest 9510
  • New Mexico-Intoxilyzer 8000
  • New York-Drager Alcotest 9510
  • North Carolina- Intoximeter EC/IR II
  • North Dakota-Intoxilyzer 8000
  • Ohio-Intoxilyzer 8000, 5000EN, BAC DataMaster
  • Oklahoma-Intoxilyzer 8000
  • Oregon-Intoxilyzer 8000
  • Pennsylvania-Almost all machines approved
  • Rhode Island-Intoxilyzer 9000
  • South Carolina-DataMaster DMT
  • South Dakota-Blood
  • Tennessee- Intoximeter EC/IR II
  • Texas-Intoxilyzer 5000, 9000
  • Utah-Intoxilyzer 8000
  • Vermont-Datamaster DMT
  • Virginia- Intoximeter EC/IR II
  • Washington-Drager Alcotest 9510, NAC DataMaster, DataMaster CDM
  • West Virginia- Intoximeter EC/IR II
  • Wisconsin- Intoximeter EC/IR II
  • Wyoming-Intoximeter EC/IR I and II, AlcoSensor IV (limited areas)