Those breath tests that police officers give seem pretty simple, right? I mean, don’t you just blow into the thing? Apparently there is a little more to it than that. Police officers have to be specifically trained to administer these tests properly. And if the officer in question does not administer the test the way he or she was trained, the results are suppressed and are unable to be used in court.
The device is called the Intoximeter EC/IR II – Intoximeter Inc. in St. Louis manufactures it. The Indiana State Department of Toxicology chose that device and demands that it be used in the exact manner it is meant to be used. This department is the one that trains and certifies the police officers in applying the approved method of administering the test.
So if you are being pulled over, and given this test, there are some things you need to pay attention to. The way the officer makes you take the test is of vital importance. Just because the officer thinks he or she knows how to properly give the test does not mean that it is being given correctly. The results taken from an improperly administered test can wrongly accuse you of intoxication. But if the result of the machine test can be shown to be possibly invalid, [typically by expert testimony], then that result may be excluded by the trial court as evidence or, diminished in its evidentiary value to the jury. It is important to realize that the police officer’s actions during a test are just as important as yours, because the verdict can depend on it.