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Maine Drug Recognition Experts

Intoxilyzer 5000EN Program Changes

November 2009

The State of Maine has made several significant changes that agencies should be aware of for the procedures in the use of the Intoxilyzer 5000EN

On September 12, 2009, LD 1447 was enacted.  The new law allows breath test results for alcohol to be reported directly as grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.  The change does away with the requirement to convert breath test results to percentage by weight of alcohol in the blood for final reporting.

Maine has now changed from Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) to Breath Alcohol Concentration (BrAC) which is the system that most other states currently use.  It will not change the way the Intoxilyzer 5000EN analyzes the breath sample.  In the next few weeks a software upgrade for the instruments will report the test result as grams of Alcohol per 210L of breath instead of the percentage of ALCOHOL by weight of blood. 

A majority of the changes in the new law deal with terminology changes from blood alcohol to alcohol, and clarifies that alcohol levels will be measured in grams per 100 milliliters of blood or 210 liters of breath.  Some benefits of the law change are that defense arguments regarding the 2100/1 ratio, breath temperature, and any physiological errors no longer apply. 

The print out for the Intoxilyzer 5000EN test will have slight changes including:

  • Conversion from BAC to BrAC.
  • Final test result will read “grams of alcohol per 210Lof breath”.
  • The “Last Wet Bath” line has been deleted as the instrument automatically conducts the wet bath with each sample. The date of the subject’s test will also be the date of the last wet bath.
  • ME Model 5000 changed to ME Model 5000EN for accuracy.

The only operational change for the instrument is the 15 minute observation/wait period.  We are still losing an unacceptable number of cases because officers are not using the correct 15 minute time period.   A lockout has been created to ensure the proper 15 minute time period.  If an operator gets the “15 minute wait period has not elapsed” warning and does not correct the start wait time through reviewing the data at that point in time, the Intoxilyzer then starts a “time remaining” countdown timer until 15 minutes from the entered start wait period has elapsed by its internal clock.   The instrument will not proceed with the subject test sequence until the elapsed time is up.  This gives the operator, who suspects a typographical error in the entered Start Wait time, a one time opportunity to make a correction so that their observation period does not turn out to be inordinately long.   

Although the law went into effect on 9-12-2009, and software upgrades were initially delayed by the manufacturer, we do not anticipate any problems with continued use of the instruments through this transition period.

The Maine Criminal Justice Academy (MCJA) is updating training materials to incorporate these changes and has also revised the Intoxilyzer 5000EN Certification Specification.  The new specification (S-41) establishes instructor certification guidelines and combines the re-certification quarters into annual re-certification cycles.

For operators expiring prior to December 31, 2011 in the existing quarterly recertification cycle, nothing will change except the expiration date on your new certification card.  Some certification cards will be issued for less than 3 years as we incorporate the four quarters into the annual cycles. 

      For operators expiring on December 31, 2011 in the new annual

     recertification cycle,

  • Certificates will be valid for 3 years from January 1 through December 31.
  • Operators may attend a recertification class up to 6 months prior to their expiration date.

By January 1, 2012 all operators will be transitioned to the new annual cycles.

The 15 minute wait period is now referred to as a 15 minute observation period in which the Intoxilyzer operator must be able to observe the test subject during the 15 minutes to ensure that the subject puts nothing in their mouth and does not belch, regurgitate or vomit.

The Secretary of State has developed new Implied Consent & Officers Report to Secretary of State forms that are available on-line at:

Blue form     http://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/forms/bacdi27.pdfhttp://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/forms/bacdi27.pdf

Green form   http://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/forms/refusaldi140.pdfhttp://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/forms/bacdi27.pdf

LD1447   http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_124th/billdocs/SP053201.rtf

All MCJA certified Intoxilyzer 5000EN Instructors have or soon will receive training on these updates. Please pass this information on to your Intoxilyzer 5000EN operators and if you have additional questions please contact:

Jim Lyman at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy 877-8009, or

Robert Morgner at the DHHS Lab 287-2727