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The Intoxilyzer: Quick Alert with Richard Aitken & Richard Robertson

So say Richard is in Whitby and he’s gone to a local bar and he just finished a pint of beer, and he’s chugged the last half back and he leaves right away, gets into his car, and perhaps it’s the only beer in fact he’s had so even if it’s a pint he should be under 80 mg. He pulls out, half a block later he gets stopped by the police, they smell the booze on his breath, it’s fresh, they ask him to blow, it’s only been five minutes since he left the bar, he provides a sample, and it’s going to show a fail, because the roadside instrument does not have all the characteristics of the Intoxilyzer 8000. It cannot eliminate what we call residual mouth alcohol, when alcohol is still in your mouth, your throat, and your oral cavity. So in that particular situation, Richard would fail the roadside because the instrument can’t tell he only had a beer five minutes ago. In fact, if what we did here is if Richard had a drink, swish it around his mouth and spit it out, and blew right away it would be 400 mg. But as you pass ten or fifteen minutes it would go down to zero. So in the situation I talked about, even though Richard failed the roadside, if he was brought to the police station and blew, he would probably be blowing 20 or 30 or 40 mg, because in the passage of time, in the fifteen or twenty minutes between when they leave the bar area to the station and get tested, all the alcohol is properly in his system, out of his oral cavity, it’ll give a more accurate result. So what I’ve talked about is called quick alert, the police officer has not waited enough time, if the officer sees someone leaving a bar, or the person says I just had one, really the officer should be trying to find out how many minutes have gone by between the last alcohol being consumed and perhaps waited ten or fifteen minutes, do the roadside test then, and you get a much more accurate result.

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