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Test for alcohol, save your life
2008-08-19

A new law of drunk drivers Illinois will soon be using a new law to keep habitual drunk drivers off the road. Under the new law, people charged for the first time with a DUI (driving under the influence ticket) must install a breathalyzer device.  It requires a legal blood alcohol reading before their car can start. If the breathalyzer senses alcohol above the legal limit, the car won't start for 24 hours. "Once they started their car and they get in and this is what prevents me from getting you to blow into my device so I can drive home. Once their car is started, every five to 15 minutes, it's going to make them blow again during their travels," said Susan McKinney, program administrator. Right now some 3,000 convicted drunk drivers are using these devices. The new law goes into effect January 1, 2009.  Breathalyzer Breathalyzer, a type of alcohol tester, is a chemical test device of a person's breath to determine whether he or she is intoxicated, usually when he or she is suspected of drunken driving. The test is normally administered by a police officer trained in the use of the equipment, and the equipment must be calibrated on a regular basis. A person operating a motor vehicle is usually presumed to have consented to taking the test, e.g., N.J.S.A. §39:4-50.2 and refusal to take the test may result in the automatic loss of one's driver's license. The results of the test are admissible as evidence in court. See 378 A. 2d 95. Breathalyzers aren't just for cops anymore. A hand-held breathalyzer gives you the ability to administer an alcohol test quickly and easily. Most of these hand held breath alcohol testing devices are small enough to fit in a pocket, purse, or glove compartment, so testing can be impromptu and discreet. Who uses breathalyzers? 1. Professionals Law Enforcement – to test suspicious drivers Probation officers – to verify alcohol compliance with court orders Corrections officers – to verify compliance Schools – to make sure students don’t drink alcohol before attending school functions like dances or parties Businesses and clinics that need an easy, fast and accurate way to test alcohol impairment 2. Consumers Parents – given as a gift to a loved one so he (or she) knows not to drive if he's had too much to drink, or used as an enforcement tool to make sure kids aren't drinking. College students – to find out if you or your friends are too intoxicated to drive, or simply to prevent overindulgence and alcohol poisoning Principle of Testing Alcohol that a person drinks shows up in the breath because it gets absorbed from the mouth, throat, stomach and intestines into the bloodstream. As the blood goes through the lungs, some of the alcohol moves across the membranes of the lung's air sacs (alveoli) into the air, because alcohol will evaporate from a solution -- that is, it is volatile. The concentration of the alcohol in the alveolar air is related to the concentration of the alcohol in the blood. As the alcohol in the alveolar air is exhaled, it can be detected by the breath alcohol testing device. Instead of having to draw a driver's blood to test his alcohol level, an officer can test the driver's breath on the spot and instantly know if there is a reason to arrest the driver. Because the alcohol concentration in the breath is related to that in the blood, you can figure the BAC by measuring alcohol on the breath.  Laws on drunkenness and others Laws on drunkenness vary between countries. For many years, the legal standard for drunkenness across the United States was 0.10, but many states have now adopted the 0.08 standard. The federal government has pushed states to lower the legal limit. The American Medical Association says that a person can become impaired when the blood alcohol level hits 0.05. If a person's BAC measures 0.08, it means that there are 0.08 grams of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. In the UK and US, police have powers to arrest those deemed too intoxicated in a public place for public intoxication, "drunk and disorderly" or even "drunk and incapable". Further, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drink alcohol in all 50 states.

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