Sheriff's Department Begins Using New Breathalyzer

By: Jeff Allen Email
By: Jeff Allen Email

You have no way of knowing if the drivers sharing the road with you are driving drunk.

But police do have ways of finding out and they say a new tool is going to make it a lot easier.

Someone is killed by a drunk driver on average about every 39 minutes.

Law enforcement officers try to do everything they can to stop it and now they have some extra help.

“We'll be able to wave it over a container of alcohol,” David Brock, Bell County Sheriff’s Department.

It's a breathalyzer, but more advanced.

It detects alcohol where officers might not be able to.

“If somebody's got alcohol in a Styrofoam cup, we'll be able to wave it over the container and it will show if there's alcohol in the container,” Brock said.

Officers with several police departments across eastern Kentucky were able to get the new breathalyzers through state grants.

Bill Rice says he's glad to see another tool that can be used to fight drunk drivers.

“It concerns me all the time, you don't know when they're going to come over and hit you,” Bill Rice said.

Bell County Sheriff’s Deputy David Brock says they'll not only help officers protect the public, but also their own lives.

The devices give their results from the front and not on the side like older breathalyzers.

“Because we'll be able to stand in front with our weapon off to the side and be able to read the field sobriety test without standing closer to the subject,” Brock said.

Protecting themselves is a vital step in protecting the public from drunk drivers.

Several police departments are already using the new breathalyzers, including the Bell County Sheriff’s Department, Knox County Sheriff's Department, and Williamsburg Police.

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