Special Police Flashlights Can Detect Alcohol Use

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2,597 people were killed in United States traffic accidents in December 2010. Of those, 775 deaths involved alcohol-impaired drivers. A 2006 study by the NHTSA estimated that there is one drunk driving fatality in the United States every 30 minutes.

Georgia's Driving Under the Influence Laws are complex. Georgia DUI injury attorney Shane Smith can sort through the intermingled laws that potentially create complications in a DUI case.

Georgia has a zero tolerance law for underage drinking and driving. Though the illegal blood alcohol content (BAC) for drivers over 21 years old is 0.08 percent, drivers under 21 can be charged with DUI with a BAC of 0.02 percent. Teen drivers can be charged with DUI in a minor accident if a chemical test indicates that they have a small amount of alcohol in their system. 

Special police flashlights that can detect alcohol usage on someone's breath have been introduced in college towns across the country. The alcohol-detection flashlights look like any other flashlight but they have alcohol vapor detection capability. The device indicates if alcohol on someone's breath might come from light, moderate or heavy drinking.

The flashlights are not used as the sole means of evidence but can indicate if an underage driver has been drinking. Georgia, like many states, has a stricter alcohol limit for drivers under 21 years old. The flashlights could indicate if someone underage has been drinking even if the driver does not appear to be impaired.

One case study indicated that the percentage of high-blood-alcohol-content drivers initially identified in standard DUI-checkpoint procedures was 71 percent while using the flashlights. The same study showed that the typical detection rate was around 55 percent without the flashlight.

If you have questions about Georgia DUI laws, get the answers in Clayton County DUI injury attorney Shane Smith's book, I Was Hit By a Drunk Driver: What Do I Do Next? Contact Shane Smith Law to schedule a free legal consultation.