Sunday, November 20, 2005

Beating a Breath Test

Electronic tags put drink-drivers in clear MURDO MACLEOD DRINK-DRIVERS wearing electronic tagging devices have been able to give negative breath-test readings because the tags interfered with police testing kits. The glitch was discovered by Lothian and Borders Police in 2002 during pilot tests of tagging devices before they were rolled out across Scotland. According to force insiders, the problems meant that drunk drivers could potentially pass a breath test despite being over the limit and unfit to drive. Testers also expressed worries that offenders appeared to be able to 'shield' their tags from detection devices, allowing them to go to places where they had been banned. The concerns are highlighted in documents obtained by Scotland on Sunday under freedom of information legislation. In a memo to commanders, Chief Constable Paddy Tomkins said: "Recent scientific testing of breath-testing devices currently being used in the force area has indicated that the signals emitted by electronic tags worn by persons who are subject to restriction of liberty orders may result in distorted reading being given by the equipment. "While the risk is small, tests conducted indicate that if an electronic tag is within one metre of the measuring device, a false reading may be obtained. "As breath analysis using the Intoximeter is carried out in a seated position, a tag will be within one metre of the measuring device." The tags were redesigned so that they no longer interfered with breath-test equipment and so offenders could no longer shield them. A police insider said: "This could have been a very serious problem if it had not been discovered. It is all very well to say that if in doubt we could have taken them in to the station for a blood test. But on a busy night it would not be that easy." Visit America’s Top DUI and DWI Attorneys or call 1-800-DIAL-DUI to find a DUI OUI DWI Attorney Lawyer Now!

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