New Tool Against Drunken Drivers
San Jose police have joined Santa Cruz and Monterey counties in using Evidentiary Portable Alcohol Systems, a technology that allows officers to test a driver’s blood-alcohol level from their squad cars.
The California Department of Justice is encouraging the use of the technology by local police departments.
The current breath test technology used by the California Highway Patrol and most police is not recognized as indisputable evidence in court and is basically considered similar to other sobriety tests, such as having the driver consecutively name the letters of the alphabet.
The Evidentiary Portable Alcohol Systems are manufactured by Draeger Safety, which equipped the devices with fuel cells that detect blood-alcohol levels with the suspect breathing into the tube.
The device requires two readings 15 minutes apart to ensure accuracy. San Jose police plan to use the systems during the holiday season.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the San Jose Mercury News (12/23/03) P. B3; Nguyen, HongDao.