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Don’t Trust the Breathalyzers

A recent Times investigation finds countless variations of Borkenstein’s Breathalyzer to be unreliable, faulty, and legally incriminating.

Pop quiz! What do the Alco-Sensor IV, the Alcotest 9510, the Intoxilyzer 8000, and countless variations of Robert Borkenstein’s Breathalyzer have in common?

According to a recent Times investigation, they’ve all been found to be unreliable and, quite frequently, wrong.

In an article dated November 3rd, 2019, The New York Times ran an investigation on breath tests. Reporting on these alcohol detection devices, the Times discovered that justice wasn’t so blind after all, but police officers certainly were.

Misreading DUI machines, or failing to calibrate them correctly in the first place, officers across the state were discovered to be wrongly failing citizen sobriety tests — over 30,000 of them this year, in fact.

Interviewing over 100 lawyers, scientists, executives, and police officers, in addition to reviewing tens of thousands of pages of court records, corporate filings, confidential emails and contracts, the Times discovered that these small errors made up a large, and largely unheard of, national phenomenon.

According to the Times, these tests are found to be incredibly inaccurate. Machines like the Alcotest 9510, which were deemed to be “not sophisticated” and “not yet ready for implementation” from scientists and testers of the equipment, are being used, or misused, by your local police departments to test alcohol impairment.

More tellingly, they are commonly mishandled by the incompetence of the machine operators, who do not understand how to properly calibrate the more sensitive Breathalyzer tests.

It doesn’t help that there are so many different types of alcohol detection devices in the market.

At this moment in the United States, over 20 companies sell Breathalyzer or DUI testing machines to police crime labs. Miscalibrated, these devices run the risk of sending you to jail or incurring exorbitant legal fees.

Because there are so many different companies and distributors that try to sell their own versions of these machines — some of which are notably of inferior make — the quality of the machines is hard to properly evaluate.

The issue raises up various ethical and practical questions: How does the average breathalyzer fare when it comes to detecting alcohol? Is there some way to standardize this? How can the average law-abiding citizen be personally accountable for their regulation of alcohol if their local police department’s machines are not to be trusted?

The answer to these questions may lie in the palm of your hand.

Otorize is a personal solution that brings the responsibility back to the driver. Steering away from faulty technology that varies from PD to PD, Otorize’s calibration is easy to process.

Otorize is the first scientifically proven cognitive impairment test.

Working off a different model than the Intoxilyzer 8000 or the Alco-Sensor IV, it’s personalized to you and is the first of its kind. This means that you can use, and evaluate, this technology on your own.

You can download Otorize on the Google Play Store (coming soon to the App Store!) or learn more about it here. Otorize is free to the public.


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