DWI TESTS

Breath

After years of litigation surrounding the Intoxilyzer 5000, the State of Minnesota has implemented the use of a new breath testing machine, the DataMaster DMT-G. The new breath testing device was purchased in hopes of effectively ending the use of the Intoxilyzer 5000 and the trouble surrounding the machine.

DataMaster Breath Test Result

In 2010, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) spent approximately $1.7 million for 280 of the new DataMaster DMT-G devices.  The DataMaster has large differences between the Intoxilyzer 5000. The DataMaster is designed to take two readings of a driver’s blood-alcohol content at once, using two different methods. Although this sounds good, the BCA has informed law enforcement agencies it had shut off one of the testing methods. This request was based upon inconsistencies in the fuel cells.

The officer will turn on the machine and observe the individual for 15 minutes before taking the test.  The officer is looking for a burp, belch or vomit that would raise the results of the test based upon mouth alcohol.  The DataMaster will clear the machine with air and the first sample is given.  The machine will clear itself again and run a test sample.  The test sample must be within one-one hundredth of .08.  Another sample is then given.  The results will be the lower of the two samples and rounded down to the nearest hundredth.

The DataMaster is already in place and in use for most of the southern portion of Minnesota. It is off to a troublesome start based upon the errors that are being found and officers using the machine have received only limited training.

The Blood Test

If a blood sample is offered, the officer will transport you to the nearest hospital for a blood draw. The individual taking the blood

BCA Blood Test Result

should use a non-alcohol wipe.  Two vials of blood are drawn.   The blood must be drawn into vacuum sealed containers to end fermentation of blood.  The test is sent to the BCA to be analyzed.  Test results will normally be returned in 6-8 weeks.   Below is a blood sample report from the BCA that you would receive by mail.

The Urine Test

A urine test will be given at the jail.  The officer will open a package and hand a cup with white powder at the bottom to you. A male or female officer will be there to observe. The powder is to preserve the sample and end fermentation.  The sample is sent to the BCA to be analyzed.  The test results, just like the blood test, will be returned in approximately 6-8 weeks.

If offered a blood test, an individual can opt for a urine test and vice a versa.

BCA Urine Test Result

The urine test can be a little higher than a blood or breath based upon what is called “pooling” this is where you can concentrate your alcohol waste in your bladder and if you urinate in the testing cup without what is called a “first void” then the test result can actually be higher than it should be.

Refusal

If a test is not taken, an individual will be charged with test refusal.  A person can also be charged with a refusal, if the officer does not believe they are actively trying to submit a breath sample into the DataMaster, essentially faking it, or if the two samples are not within one-one hundredth of .08.