Police to take measures to address shortcomings in breathanalyzers
Additional Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Kapil Kumar C Saratkar said that in order to identify if the machine used is faulty, police on duty will check the machine with three different sober personnel.
CHENNAI: With a citizen being subjected to harassment by police after a breathalyzer allegedly showed wrong reading for a non-drunk person, Chennai city traffic police has come up with new measures to overcome such issues.
Additional Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Kapil Kumar C Saratkar said that in order to identify if the machine used is faulty, police on duty will check the machine with three different sober personnel. "In the other case, if the breathalyzer shows that an individual is drunk but the person contests that they have not, police have been instructed to try two more times in different time interval to make sure the readings are correct," said Saratkar.
The additional commissioner further added that if the individual wishes to take medical tests to prove his innocence (like Monday's incident), police have been instructed to accompany them to the nearby hospital.
On Monday night, Deepak, from Saligramam was flagged by police during vehicle check near Eldams road and the breathalyzer machine displayed that he was drunk. Deepak stood his ground that he is a teetotaller and claimed that police are using faulty machines and after checking with other machine, Deepak's claims proved right after which he was let go.
A video of the exchange between Deepak and the policeman went viral on social media which has prompted the city police to clarify.
Sathyanarayanan, an executive with Medical sensors India private limited, the company that provides breathalyzers to the city police said that in some cases, in cases where occupants other than the driver are drunk, such readings might happen as the driver is prone to inhale the same air particles. "While this is not common, it could happen since the machine is an electrochemical sensor-based equipment," Sathayanarayanan said.
Further, police claimed that fatal accidents in the city have reduced in the last two years because of effective enforcement. On an average, around 150 persons are booked for drunk driving, police said.
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