• Stephen Biss

Reliability: 5000 64- Diagnostics in 2009

This US instrument was purchased "used" on an "as-is" basis. It is an Intoxilyzer® 5000 64 series machine with an upgraded keyboard. The serial number is also upgraded in the software to a 66- series machine. The 5000 64 series is similar to the instruments as evaluated (not production model) by the Alcohol Test Committee that eventually became known as the 5000C in Canada. The original 64 series and 5000C instruments had a different keyboard. This particular instrument has an upgraded IBM keyboard similar to the upgraded keyboards in later versions of the 5000C used in Ontario immediately prior to the introduction of the 8000C.

At the time of purchase, the maintenance history of the instrument was unknown. There has been no factory authorized or other service technician maintenance since purchase. The author has, however, lubricated the printer with WD40.

Would you consider this instrument to be "reliable"? Would you want police to test you on this instrument?

The following is an attempt in about 2009 at a start-up diagnostic test following a cold start. The instrument crashes at Ram Check 2. This video was uploaded to Youtube in 2009. The date on the display is not reliable.

The operator waits while the instrument is once again in "not ready" mode. The instrument attempts another start-up diagnostic. This time the operator tries a creative approach to clearing the crash, the diagnostic passes, and the instrument goes into ready mode.

In order to establish that this instrument is reliable and ready for testing, the operator conducts an Esc Esc D stand-alone diagnostics test. A Test Record is produced showing that the instrument is ready for evidentiary breath testing.

Operator then completes a successful Esc Esc B self-test to establish that instrument is ready to accept a breath sample. The operator blows through diluted alcohol standard in a flask (not the approach used in Ontario) to establish that the instrument is ready to receive breath and is registering alcohol.

The operator then runs groups of cal. checks (with no simulator attached) to see if the cal. check sequence system works. Notice that no alarms sound during the cal. checks even though no simulator is attached.

These videos were captured in about 2009. It is now 2015. The instrument has not been serviced or maintained in the interim. Should police use this instrument for evidentiary breath testing? Are these historical videos from 2009 and lack of maintenance information between 2009 and 2015 relevant to an assessment of reliability in 2015? Please remember that "reliability" is not the same thing as "accuracy".

WARNING: These videos and the comments at this blog are NOT evidence. They cannot be used in Court. Courts only accept expert opinion about the reliability of instruments. The author of this blog is NOT an expert. This blog exists to promote discussion among defence lawyers.


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