Sober, but breathalyser finds you drunk? Ask for retests

The Chennai traffic police has introduced two new systems to overcome issues of people getting booked owing to faulty machines.

Published: 30th March 2023 09:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th March 2023 02:41 PM   |  A+A-

drunk, faulty machines

Motorists can ask for additional tries if they believe the reading is faulty | Express

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  The Chennai traffic police has introduced two new systems to overcome issues of people getting booked owing to faulty machines. To ensure that the device is not faulty, it will be checked by using it on three sober personnel and if a person contests the result, they will be allowed to try more times after a gap.

This comes after a recent video of an argument between the police and a man who contested that the breathalyser falsely recorded that he was drunk.

Addressing the media, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Kapil Kumar C Saratkar said that two new systems are being introduced during night checks.

“Firstly, to identify if the machine was faulty, the police on duty will check the machine with three different sober personnel. Secondly, if the breathalyser shows that an individual is drunk but the person contests it, the police are instructed to try two more times within a certain time interval to make sure the readings are correct,” said Saratkar.

He also added that if the public wishes to take a medical test to prove his innocence, the police are instructed to accompany the person to the nearby hospital for a blood test, said Saratkar. On Monday night, Deepak, from Saligramam was stopped for the check at Eldams Road. The machine suggested that the alcohol was 42 mg/100 ml.

About 20 minutes of heated argument followed where Deepak told the police that he did not drink and asked the police personnel to take him for a medical examination. Later when checked two more times, the machine read the number to be zero and he was let go. The video of the incident went viral on social media.

Sathyanarayanan, a senior official of Medical sensors India private limited, the company that provides breathalysers to the city police, said that the machine works on air particles.

“In some cases, when people in a car except the driver being drunk, a person is prone to inhale the same air particles and when blown into the machine it can mistakenly record that the person was drunk. Though not common, it could happen since the machine is an electrochemical sensor-based equipment.”

Speaking about a reduction in fatal accidents in the city, Saratkar claimed that regular checks by police have reduced fatal accidents by over 13% in the city.

“Since January 2022, in a span of 15 months, about 37,901 cases have been registered. Fatal accidents have reduced due to increased checking,” said Saratkar.



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