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The Long Beach Police Department is the first agency in the State of California to use a mobile evidential breath alcohol-testing device using infrared technology. This device will allow officers in the field to immediately determine whether a suspected impaired driver can be arrested for drunk driving.
Currently, after officers stop suspected impaired drivers who fail the administered standard field sobriety test, they must transport the driver to the station for an intoxilizer breath test. With the new infrared portable breath alcohol-testing devices, which were acquired by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, officers can test suspected impaired drivers in the field, producing results that are admissible in court. If a driver registers under the legal limit, they may be released in the field unless other circumstances exist.
Some Long Beach officers have hand-held screening devices that provide accurate alcohol levels, however, the results are not admissible as evidence in court. Various cities, including San Diego, are in the process of placing this latest technology into service. Other police departments have evidential breath alcohol-testing devices that use a different “dry cell” technology.
To obtain additional information, please contact Long Beach Police Traffic Enforcement Section Sergeant Michael Lewis at (562) 570-7209.
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