New tool used by DUI officers coming to Seattle??

A new tool used in detecting DUIs has been created and is making it’s way into different law enforcement agencies. As a practicing DUI lawyer I can see this tool making its way into Seattle sometime in the future, so it’s probably a good idea to keep tabs on it. What is the name of this new invention you ask. Its called the Passive alcohol sensor. To learn more continue reading…

The passive alcohol sensor is a device that measures alcohol on one’s breath. It functions the same was as a portable breath test. In the sense that it will draw exhaled air into its sensor and measures a level of alcohol. However the difference in the two is what makes this new device so interesting.

It comes integrated in the heavy duty flash lights that all law enforcement use. You hold the device about 5-10 inches from the drivers face, and the device samples the air as the driver speaks or exhales. You can imagine a Seattle Police Officer suspecting someone of a DUI. Pulls the vehicle over late at night. Contacts the driver at the window, and flashes their light into the vehicle. Then uses this alcohol sensor as they ask the driver questions about alcohol, consumption, and anything else of relevancy.

Unlike a portable breath test currently these alcohol sensors do not provide an alcohol level. Bars will light up after the breath is analyzed. And the more alcohol that is detected the more bars will light up. Different bars are associated with different levels, for example “safe,” or “high risk.” So unlike a PBT this particular device would be difficult to determine whether a person is over the legal limit since it will not show it.

These devices would probably work better when there is a zero tolerance for alcohol consumption and driving. Like in an under 21 DUI case. It’s important to understand that these devices are just one piece of evidence to consider in a DUI investigation. There will always be the typical observations noted of driving, odor, speech, facial color, coordination, statements, and the PBT.

If you’re interested in reading more about this new device just google passive alcohol sensor and you will find several articles, along with the particular companies manual that creates this device.

About the author: Have you been arrested for a DUI? In need of a DUI Lawyer from Seattle. Matthew Leyba is rated as a 10/10 by, and was recently named a Rising Star among Seattle Bellevue DUI Lawyers by the Seattle Met Magazine, an honor less than 2.5% of all Attorneys in Washington State receive.