Will I Get COVID-19 From Blowing into the DUI Intoxilyzer?

June 12, 2020 Blog

Every day, dozens of people arrested for DUI blow into an intoxilyzer, so if one of them has COVID-19, then can’t everyone who blows after them get the deadly virus?  Many of our clients arrested for DUI during the Pandemic fear they have been exposed to and will contract COVID-19 as a result of providing a breath test.

This fear makes sense. In order for the intoxilyzer to perform its analysis an individual must blow into the device for an extended period of time, which is typically at least 15 seconds or more.

What is an intoxilyzer?

An intoxilyzer is a laboratory instrument / machine used to determine an individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for purposes of identifying if someone is under the influence of alcohol. Through a complex process and calculation, the machine measures the concentration of alcohol in an individual’s breath and then converts that into the concentration of alcohol in an individual’s blood.

Can I contract COVID-19 from an intoxilyzer?

It is highly unlikely that you will catch COVID-19 from an intoxilyzer. Each time someone blows into the intoxilyzer, a new sterile mouthpiece is attached to the machine. Additionally, air is expelled from the intoxilyzer before each use. This means that any leftover air in the machine is released each time an individual blows into it so the chances of inhaling someone else’s (COVID-19) breath is very unlikely.  Additionally, the sterile mouthpiece is designed to only press air in one direction, out and not in.

How does an intoxilyzer work?

When an individual blows into an intoxilyzer, their breath is released into a sealed chamber. Infrared light is produced at one end of the chamber. The light passes through the breath in the chamber to reach a sensor on the other end of the chamber. When alcohol is present in the breath, a certain amount of light will be absorbed by the alcohol in the breath. The machine determines BAC by comparing the amount of light originally released and the amount that reaches the sensor. This means that less light at the sensor results in a higher BAC.

How can I defend my intoxilyzer results?

DUI Defense Clinic’s attorneys have handled thousands of DUI cases in their 100+ years of combined criminal defense experience. We have learned that police and technology make mistakes. Therefore, we challenge and dispute the technological and operational procedures of the intoxilyzer and we do everything legally permissible to exclude breath test results from the evidence being used against our clients.

If you are facing DUI charges, there is no time to waste. Contact our team of attorneys today to schedule a free case evaluation and fight for your rights.

Written by: Guy Fronstin, Tiffany Monroy

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