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Posted: 3/3/2006 10:52:29 PM EDT
Has anyone ever played around with an alcosensor while they were getting drunk?

Tonight I grabbed an alcosensor and went home with it. I can't honesly say I know what being at .08 feels like. I decided to drink and self test as I went. Right now I'm at a .16. I'm way past the point where I felt comfortable driving. When I reached that point I was at a .05. I have made many many DWI arrests, some of them being over .20. Up until now I really never knew just how it felt to be that high. At .10 I was at the point where I would definatly get a ride home. I understand that a .05 may be too much for me, but someone else may feel perfectly safe, but it was an eye opener nonetheless.

I would reccomend that any other LEO do this himself. If nothing else it can be a tool when testifying. Go home, have a few beers while watching tv, and use the box every now and again. For me it's been quite an educational experienece as to just how drunk you have to be at .08. Not that it takes that much, but my personal level of impairement is pretty high right now if you cant tell from my inability to articulate what I'm trying to articulate .

Really, try it and see just how drunk the drunk you are arresting really is. .16 (for me) really is pretty screwed up.

-K

Link Posted: 3/4/2006 3:59:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Special-K:
Has anyone ever played around with an alcosensor while they were getting drunk?

Tonight I grabbed an alcosensor and went home with it. I can't honesly say I know what being at .08 feels like. I decided to drink and self test as I went. Right now I'm at a .16. I'm way past the point where I felt comfortable driving. When I reached that point I was at a .05. I have made many many DWI arrests, some of them being over .20. Up until now I really never knew just how it felt to be that high. At .10 I was at the point where I would definatly get a ride home. I understand that a .05 may be too much for me, but someone else may feel perfectly safe, but it was an eye opener nonetheless.

I would reccomend that any other LEO do this himself. If nothing else it can be a tool when testifying. Go home, have a few beers while watching tv, and use the box every now and again. For me it's been quite an educational experienece as to just how drunk you have to be at .08. Not that it takes that much, but my personal level of impairement is pretty high right now if you cant tell from my inability to articulate what I'm trying to articulate .

Really, try it and see just how drunk the drunk you are arresting really is. .16 (for me) really is pretty screwed up.

-K




Uh yeah...

You want to be the one sitting in front of a jury and explain to them the reason you know the Alco Sensor works is that you sit at home, drink and test yourself?

Or, that you know what it feels like to be drunk cause you test yourself occasionally?

That'd do wonders for credibility. YMMV, but I won't be trying that crap.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 6:02:29 AM EDT
You can type correctly at .16?

NPD223 makes a very good point BTW.

Link Posted: 3/4/2006 6:25:21 AM EDT
I've toyed with the Intoximeter. You should experiment with stuff like mouthwash, breath strips, toothpaste, etc. It's very interesting what can register and what's BS (the dumbest one I heard was a guy tell me and some people at the jail that he pissed hot for meth I think because he had eaten a combination of Vanilla Coke and Krispy Kreme donuts).
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 12:42:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/4/2006 12:46:57 PM EDT by Special-K]
At DWI trials they always ask if we have been intoxicated ourselves. That's one of the ways we can recognize a drunk as being drunk. I would hate for the defence to ask me axactly what does it feel like to be at a .08%. I would have to say I really don't know. Granted, there's lots of ways to get out of that question - ie a .08 for me is going to be different than a .08 for you. But I can honestly say that for me I would have refused to drive at only a .05, and that the defendant must have known he was too impaired to drive if I had him at a .15.

Either way, it was an educational experience for me. People tell me that they didn't know they were drunk - "Honest! I thought I was ok to drive!". Now I won't hesitate to call BS.

As for testing the alcosensor - no, I wasn't using myself to test it. The state does that for us every now and again. Either way, in NY it's only a pass/fail test. The actual reading is inadmissable. As for occasionally testing myself - no. Never done it before, don't see a need to do it again. But it was still an educational experience the one time I did it - if only for my own knowledge.

And yes, apparently I can still type at a .16, but it took effort .


-K
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 12:56:08 PM EDT
I've known several officers who've never had alcohol in their lives, much less been drunk. They are able to determine if someone is intoxicated. Having been drunk at some point in your life has no bearing on being able to determine if someone else is drunk. I don't even feel it gives you more credibility.

Which way would you rather testify that a suspect was drunk:

1. I observed the suspect to have a flushed face and with glassy, bloodshot eyes. When speaking, he slurred his speech and was not able to enunciate his words. There was a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath. He had vomited on his lap and driver's door panel. He was unable to stand without staggering and placing his hand on his vehicle for balance. An Alco-Sensor, which had been recently calibrated as accurate, was used and indicated the suspect's breath alcohol content at .16.

2. I saw the suspect had a flushed face and his eyes were glassy and bloodshot. He smelled like beer and had vomited on himself. He couldn't speak clearly. He couldn't walk straight either. I know these are signs that someone is drunk because I have personal experience being drunk myself. When he tested on the AlcoSensor, he blew a .15. Heck I've even tested higher than that myself!
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 1:08:18 PM EDT
I did the same thing! I drank nothing but beer for hours, and only got to a .10. I wouldn't have driven at a .08, but I'm not a regular drinker either. It would really take an effort to get above .20.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 1:39:34 PM EDT
In the younger days we would use them at cop parties to raz the lightweight drinkers.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 5:16:40 PM EDT
Well I'm not an LEO but back in college I did buy one of those BAC testers off the internet. I have no idea if it was accurate or not but it was a lot of fun at parties. The interesting thing to me is how much of a difference there was depending on how long ago you had taken a drink. If I did a shot of Jack and then tested myself right away it would be super high like .25 or something. But if I waited abot ten minutes without drinking any more and maybe eating something it would go back down to .1 or whatever it was at the time. I ended up getting rid of it because people were trying to see how high they could get it and drinking WAAAY too much.(I hate puke)
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 5:35:03 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 3:27:58 AM EDT
FYI hand held "Breathalyzers" are more qualitative than quantitative. These instruments do not measure actual blood ethanol content, they only estimate it.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 6:09:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MPW:
FYI hand held "Breathalyzers" are more qualitative than quantitative. These instruments do not measure actual blood ethanol content, they only estimate it.



No, cause you don't bleed into it. They measure Breath Alcohol Content. And very effectively, too, if you get a quality one.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 11:34:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Code3AK:
Well I'm not an LEO but back in college I did buy one of those BAC testers off the internet. I have no idea if it was accurate or not but it was a lot of fun at parties. The interesting thing to me is how much of a difference there was depending on how long ago you had taken a drink. If I did a shot of Jack and then tested myself right away it would be super high like .25 or something. But if I waited abot ten minutes without drinking any more and maybe eating something it would go back down to .1 or whatever it was at the time. I ended up getting rid of it because people were trying to see how high they could get it and drinking WAAAY too much.(I hate puke)



When you put alcohol in your mouth and blow, you are just measuring the alcohol in your mouth, not what is coming out of your lungs. It does not matter if it is a small cheap device you buy on the internet or a $10,000 instrument used at the county jail for testing DWI.

Back before our breath tests were logged into a computer, you could use any mouthwash with alcohol and then blow into the instrument. It would show the instrument maximum of 0.48. If you waited about five minutes, it would be back to zero. Therein lies the reason that when an officer has you take a breath test, he needs to wait a required amount of minutes to make sure you didn't drink, puke, etc. That would have put alcohol in your mouth and rendered the test invalid. Each state has its own laws but it is likely something like 10-15 minutes of observation before you can take the breath test. For any breath test instrument to be accurate, it has to be testing the alcohol being expelled in your lungs not what you just put into your mouth (residual alcohol).
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 9:46:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By npd233:
No, cause you don't bleed into it. They measure Breath Alcohol Content. And very effectively, too, if you get a quality one.



Breath alcohol is related to blood alcohol, but it's the alcohol in your blood stream that causes impairment.

Individuals differ in the amount of alcohol they excrete via breath and urine, most is removed from the blood via the liver... Anyway, I'm talking about the handheld breathalyzers..the larger versions at the station are far more accurate, but once again both of them are estimating blood ethanol content by getting a reading of breath alcohols and then using a mathematical formula to estimate blood levels.

I'm not arguing the legalities, if you blow above the legal limit then you're going to found guilty. But that's with the court approved stationary devices...the hand helds will tell you with accuracy wether or not someone has been drinking, and if it's close to or over the legal limit, but to really know with certainty what the blood alcohol content happens to be you need to get a blood sample and then test via gas chromatography.

All I'm saying is that you don't really know if you are 0.08 just by blowing into a hand held sensor. Of course, if you're sensor reads that or anything above 0.03, I wouldn't drive...
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 3:56:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MPW:

Originally Posted By npd233:
No, cause you don't bleed into it. They measure Breath Alcohol Content. And very effectively, too, if you get a quality one.



Breath alcohol is related to blood alcohol, but it's the alcohol in your blood stream that causes impairment.

Individuals differ in the amount of alcohol they excrete via breath and urine, most is removed from the blood via the liver... Anyway, I'm talking about the handheld breathalyzers..the larger versions at the station are far more accurate, but once again both of them are estimating blood ethanol content by getting a reading of breath alcohols and then using a mathematical formula to estimate blood levels.

I'm not arguing the legalities, if you blow above the legal limit then you're going to found guilty. But that's with the court approved stationary devices...the hand helds will tell you with accuracy wether or not someone has been drinking, and if it's close to or over the legal limit, but to really know with certainty what the blood alcohol content happens to be you need to get a blood sample and then test via gas chromatography.

All I'm saying is that you don't really know if you are 0.08 just by blowing into a hand held sensor. Of course, if you're sensor reads that or anything above 0.03, I wouldn't drive...



Please, tell us more!

The handhelds will tell you if someone's been drinking? If you need one for that, you need to learn more about drinking. You're heading off-topic.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 1:03:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By npd233:
Please, tell us more!

The handhelds will tell you if someone's been drinking? If you need one for that, you need to learn more about drinking. You're heading off-topic.



Do you know the difference between qualitative and quantitative? That was my point, which was quite on topic.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 2:55:17 AM EDT
I just hope you ain't tryin' the same tests to educate yourself on DUI-Drugs/less safe...
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 4:59:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MPW:

Originally Posted By npd233:
Please, tell us more!

The handhelds will tell you if someone's been drinking? If you need one for that, you need to learn more about drinking. You're heading off-topic.



Do you know the difference between qualitative and quantitative? That was my point, which was quite on topic.



Don't stop believing.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 12:25:29 AM EDT
Then why aren't the handheld results admissable as evidence?
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 11:14:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MPW:
Then why aren't the handheld results admissable as evidence?



Because they're not certified by (in my state) the state police as an accepted breath analysis device. Most handhelds do not have an automated system to capture a sample of deep lung air, and rely on the person giving the test to push the test button at a point he believes a deep lung sample would be tested. There is no control over how much volume of air must go thru the machine before a sample is tested. There is no electronic record recording each test captured. There is no print out from the machine. There are many reasons the PBT's are not accepted as evidentiary for DUI's.

There are circumstances you can use them for evidence: i.e. proving underage alcohol consumption where all you need is proof of the existence of any alcohol whatsoever. Again - most people would probably agree these would only add to officer's observations of the person's physical condition, except in those very few cases where someone has maybe one shot of vodka and half an hour later it can't be smelled or noticed but for the PBT. Parents and schools might benefit more from owning a PBT than a police officer would. I've used it more often to rule OUT drinking than prove it, when dealing with youths. Since most that have been drinking won't submit to it, and those that haven't, will. YMMV.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 3:56:37 PM EDT
When I was going to college at Western Illinios University for Law Enforcement Justice Administration the had an LEO giving volunteer brethalizers. Even if you where underage they would test you and not bust you. A bunch of my buddy's and I went after some drinking. I blew a .05 and I was amazed. I would never get into a vehicle and drive in the state I was in.

It is suprising to find out what your BAC is with your corresponding state of inebreation

At that time I was around 240 lbs. (a lot of college fat) and I had 4 mixed drinks in 2 hours.
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